It’s been more than two decades since “master manipulator” John Ruffo went on the lam after being convicted of a $350+ million bank fraud, but the truth is that he didn’t act alone. He had an accomplice — Edward “Ed” J. Reiners, as profiled on Hulu’s ‘Have You Seen This Man?’ — who essentially kickstarted the scam that is now leading the US Marshals on a manhunt across the globe. So now, if you wish to learn more about him, his ordinary background, his criminal actions, his legal troubles, and his current whereabouts, don’t worry; we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Ed Reiners?
Edward “Ed” J. Reiners of Somers, New York, was quite a prominent figure in the state’s computer and business industry back in the early 1990s, and that’s how he’d previously reportedly met John Ruffo. After all, not only was he the owner of a local video rental store on Route 202, but he’d also spent 20 years of his life in the information systems department of Philip Morris tobacco company. The executive left his post in 1992, though, as per reports, following which he approached John with the idea of soliciting various banks to finance a fictitious project for personal gains.
Through that, with the help of forged documents created by Ed using his prior association with the big corporation, the duo managed to swindle over $350 million from eight financial institutions in less than three years. However, an inconsistency within the same — noticed by an executive at the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan — ultimately led to their downfall, with the FBI executing a sting operation to arrest Ed on May 19, 1996. That’s when it came to light that the then-renowned entrepreneur had been leading a double life, deceiving both his employees as well as almost everyone close to him.
It appeared as if Ed was a typical suburban man residing in a standard yet beautiful four-garage house on Londonderry Lane alongside his wife and their two daughters, but there were some drastically different aspects. He often drove a Toyota Wagon, as per The New York Times, yet on occasion, he could also be spotted enjoying rides in a luxurious burgundy Jaguar. Moreover, “he had a penchant for buying and selling expensive homes and new cars,” which included two condos (in his possession in 1996), worth over $10 million in total, on the East 69th Street in Manhattan.
Where is Ed Reiners Now?
Following his arrest, not only did Edward “Ed” Reiners lead the detectives to accounts worth at least $215 million, but he also ended up pleading guilty to one count of bank fraud as well as one count of money laundering. Therefore, the New York University graduate was sentenced to 16 years and ten months in federal prison, which he reportedly accepted/began to serve without any significant fuss in the late 1990s. In the end, though, after just nine years behind bars, he was granted early release, meaning that the now late 70-year-old has been a free man for about a decade.
It seems like Ed prefers to keep away from the spotlight these days, so all we know is that he understood things would come crashing down sooner or later. “Every time the phone rang, or pager went on, you didn’t know what was going on,” he told ‘60 Minutes‘ back in 1999. “It was getting very hectic at the end. It was getting very hectic and very draining… At any time [we could’ve been caught]. You knew it, any time.” Then, more recently, in 2018, when asked about John Ruffo and his escape by NBC News, the former Philip Morris executive simply remarked, “He’s gone. God bless him. He beat the system.”
Read More: Where is John Ruffo’s Wife Now?