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Inactive Financial Institution Letters


April 19, 2001

SUBJECT: Possible Attempted Fraud By Convicted Fugitive

The U.S. Marshals Service has asked the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to alert all U.S. banks about the current activities of fugitive John Ruffo, who was convicted in 1998 for his role in defrauding several banks of over $350 million and may now be attempting another fraud scheme.

Mr. Ruffo was recently seen in several banks in Duncan, Oklahoma, trying to arrange large wire transfers. In each instance, he asked to see the bank president and stated he wanted to set up an account to receive wire transfers of large sums of money from Nigeria. He said that he is employed as a liquidator and earns his money from finder's fees. He used his real name, John Ruffo, but he may also attempt to use an alias.

Mr. Ruffo has been a federal fugitive since he failed to report to prison in 1998 to serve a 17 ½-year sentence for bank fraud. The fraudulent business scheme involved phony equipment leases and an individual posing as an official of the Philip Morris Company. Attached for your information are a U.S. Marshals Service press release and a "wanted" poster with John Ruffo's picture. The press release and the picture may also be found at and, respectively.

The U.S. Marshals Service has asked that anyone who sees Mr. Ruffo or has information about him to immediately call the local police. U.S. Marshal Barry Boright (pager # 1-888-201-6929) or U.S. Marshal Robert Haase (pager # 1-888-201-6935) should also be contacted.

For your reference, all FDIC Financial Institution Letters published since January of 1995 may be found on the FDIC's Web site at under "News, Events & FOIA." To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Financial Institution Letters through e-mail, please visit

Michael J. Zamorski
Acting Director

U.S. Marshals Service Press Release
Wanted Poster

Distribution: FDIC-Insured Institutions

NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC financial institution letters may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (800-276-6003 or (703) 562-2200).

Last Updated 6/14/2004

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