Edward Raifsnider had quite a nice operation going. Having accumulated dozens of false identities, he was confident and skilled enough to make people believe he was anybody he claimed to be – a trucking company operator, a businessman, even a retired U.S. marshal. He traveled around the country taking advantage of his unsuspecting victims, buying expensive vehicles with fraudulent bank checks, then reselling them a few days later.
When the one-man crime wave brought his act to Tulsa, he quickly took up with a local barmaid, then managed to convince a friend of hers to partner with him on an automobile auction business. After the friend gave Raifsnider – who, of course, was living under an assumed identity – a total of $110,000 to set up the business, the swindler disappeared with the money and set off to enjoy his ill-gotten gains.
What Raifsnider didn’t know was that Gary Glanz had been hired by his last victim to find him. Glanz quickly learned that Raifsnider was a wanted man in 11 states and was able to provide federal authorities with dozens of photos and other documents related to the man they sought, courtesy of his jilted girlfriend. The woman also revealed to Glanz that Raifsnider had once paid her gas bill with a credit card that turned out to be legitimate, and it was that transaction that allowed the private investigator to help bring the case to a successful resolution.
Glanz provided that information to law enforcement officials, and not too long afterward, Raifsnider – who had been featured on the television program “America’s Most Wanted” and on Court TV – was apprehended by federal authorities in Branson, Mo., where his family lived. Officials said he the total value of his fraudulently obtained vehicles amounted to $2 million, but because of the information supplied by Glanz, he was arrested and convicted, his career as a swindler was over.