Authorities seek public's help in finding a con artist

Tuesday, June 29th 2004, 4:13 pm
By: News On 6

A con artist of huge proportions. This man is wanted in 19 different states and has more than 40 warrants out for his arrest and has been operating most recently in Tulsa.

Tulsa forgery detective Joe Morgan did the legwork on the local cases. Now, the News on 6 has exclusive, never before seen pictures of the suspect, in hopes the suspect will finally get caught.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says this is Edward Raifsnider, federal and state police call him a con artist deluxe.

He frequently wears a racing ball cap, a cowboy hat or even a hairpiece. Police say he's the kind of guy everybody likes, good at karaoke, buys everyone drinks and wins over friends. Investigator Gary Glanz: "Very personable, everyone loves him, men and women. He loves to go to race tracks. He's been to Fair Meadows, Remington Park, Oak Lawn and he's been in the area for quite a while."

Investigators say he also has a dark side, where he cooks up one scheme after another, whether it's counterfeit checks, identity theft or fake investment schemes and takes people's hard earned money into the millions.

Private eye Gary Glanz represents a 61 year old Tulsa executive who met Raifsnider in January and trusted him enough to invest $110,000 in an auto-auction deal that was supposed to go in at Sand Springs. Gary Glanz: "He received the funds end of March, 1st of April and immediately disappeared."

Detective Joe Morgan is also investigating a case where the suspect came to a Ramada, put an ad in the paper for truck driving jobs that paid $18 an hour and when the victims came to fill out their applications, he stole their identities.

Raifsnider has very distinct tattoos, one of the world with wings on his back and the names of his children, Chris, Byron and Amanda, above that on his shoulders. He also has a tattoo from his left shoulder to his left elbow of a guard tower surrounded by barbed wire at the base.

US Marshals have been looking for Raifsnider for two years. They say the scheme he's most known for is buying newer model trucks from people who advertise in publications like the Auto Trader. He'd buy them on weekends with counterfeit checks and sell them again before the victim could cash the check at the bank Monday morning. They say he's made millions doing that.

They say he has family in Oklahoma and has been in the state since last fall. If you have information about where Raifsnider is, you can call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS. You don't have to give your name and if your tip leads to an arrest, you'll get a cash reward.