A MISSING seller who has been on the run for 23 years may have had plastic surgery and had his fingerprints removed to avoid detection, a former fugitive says.
Seth Ferranti, who was on the US Most Wanted list, told The Sun John Rufo is now probably living a “settled, normal” life with a new family.
Ruffo has previously defrauded banks of more than $350 million to become one of the FBI’s most wanted men.
The scammer mysteriously disappeared in November 1998 while he was about to serve a 17-year sentence and has not been found.
He added: “[He was] Making moves before anyone else has even considered it.”
Ferranti said Ruffo “definitely planned his disappearance in advance,” adding, “He was several steps ahead of everyone and law enforcement.”
And he said it would be “easy” for Ruffo to adopt a new identity, telling The Sun: “Getting a new ID card isn’t that hard. I did it when I was on the run.
“You just become someone else and when you have the records and documents to back it up, who’s going to doubt you.”
Ferranti, who will be speaking about his latest documentary, Psychedelic Revolution: The Secret History of the LSD Trade, at an event in LA next month, said Ruffo is likely living a “settled, normal” life now.
He added: “Ruffo is probably settled down now and living a normal life and has actually become someone else.
“At 350 million he could have had plastic surgery, had his fingerprints removed, started a business, started a family and nobody knows anything about his past.
“It’s very possible to start a new life if you have a different identity and money. He could be married, have kids and all that.”
Cops, family members, and FBI agents have spent more than two decades searching for Ruffo since his disappearance.
Ruffo’s cousin thought he spotted the impostor in the crowd at a 2016 LA Dodgers game, but it turns out it wasn’t the fugitive.
The fugitive’s disappearance is the subject of the Hulu series Have You Seen This Man?. which aired for the first time this week.
Ferranti, who disappeared between 1991 and 1993 After being charged with nonviolent drug trafficking, he added: “If you hold back and you have money, it’s pretty easy to stay on the run for that long.
“It’s just about having the resources. People get caught because they’re desperate, obviously this guy wasn’t desperate.
“He had planned everything and his plan worked perfectly.”
Ruffo faced 150 charges of bank fraud, money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy.
The FBI considered the New Yorker a fugitive, as his bail was set at a whopping $10 million.
The computer salesman was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Ruffo was last seen on November 9, 1998. He went to court to hand him the electronic tag that he had to wear.
He also dropped his wife Linda off at a train station – that was the last time they ever saw each other.
And that night, CCTV footage caught the scammer withdrawing $600 from an ATM in Queens, New York.
He left his rented Ford Taurus in the long-term parking lot at JFK airport before mysteriously disappearing.
Police believe more than $13 million in stolen money that was never recovered may have contributed to his disappearance.
His wife, Linda, told NBC she was left with “urgent questions.”
And online detectives have speculated about the fugitive’s possible whereabouts while he remains at large.
Ferranti said: “If you have money, I’d say it’s easier to go abroad and get away from the US and all sorts of recognition.
Other theories include claims that the fugitive has meddled in public life or is dead.
Ferranti said: “To get off the radar you just have to hide, and when you have resources it’s easy to hide and go somewhere nobody knows you.
“When people have been missing for so long, there’s always a chance he’s dead.
“He’s either very smart and meticulous about covering his tracks or he’s very lucky, but this show will put a new pressure on him if he’s still out there anywhere.
“This show could definitely thwart his plans,” added Ferranti.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/4973392/on-the-run-most-wanted-john-ruffo-capture/ I spent two years on the run as a “most wanted” fugitive