Now Reading: 10. The Pretender part 2 – Marc Ruskin Undercover Agent

10. The Pretender part 2 – Marc Ruskin Undercover Agent

The Pretender Marc Ruskin FBI Undercover

The Pretender – Marc Ruskin FBI undercover agent

Remember the name Marc Ruskin: because if you run into him, chances are he will introduce himself as Alex Perez, H. Marc Renard, or Sal Morelli – just a few of his FBI undercover personas.

Marc Ruskin started his career as an assistant DA in Brooklyn and left it all behind to join the FBI Academy. It didn’t take him long to become an FBI undercover agent. His first big undercover case landed him in Wall Street busting up trading scams. That case went down in flames when a former colleague recognized his true identity and blew his cover.

His next assignments proved to be much more dangerous. Marc embedded himself with mobsters, corrupt public officials, terrorists, and powerful drug dealers. Of course, we can’t cover his entire 27 year career here on this podcast. For that you’ll need to check out his new book titled “The Pretender.” It’s a great read. What we will do is talk about a few cases that were so intense, it had me grip the book so tight that I almost fused the pages together.

Marc Ruskin’s next assignment was to bust up a fraudulent documents scheme in New York City. I’m not talking about fake IDs – there’s a difference. These fraudulent IDs are the real thing. If a police runs a fraudulent driver’s license, it actually checks out in their database. Marc told me terrorists, mob guys, fugitives were being arrested and had all kinds of real documents in their wallets under fake names.

The FBI didn’t have any leads. First, they had to find the source of these fraudulent documents. Marc says that some of these fraudulent driver’s licenses were selling for as much as a thousand dollars on the streets. 

It wasn’t until a tip from a twenty-something-year-old man named John Sultan that led the FBI to a shabby travel agency in the Bronx called Holy Land Travel. The travel agency was a front led by Palestinian immigrant named Mahmoud Noubani.


The Pretender Marc Ruskin FBI Undercover

The Pretender Marc Ruskin FBI Undercover

You can find The Pretender on or at your local bookstore. Also a special thanks out to St. Martin’s Press for letting me share Marc’s story with you. Also, you can follow Marc Ruskin on Twitter @mhruskin



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This episode was written and produced by Javier Leiva.

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