Alleged Con Artist Hits Businesses In Three Metro Cities

Wednesday, December 14th 2011, 6:16 pm
By: News 9

Police are looking for a man accused of ripping off businesses in at least three cities throughout the metro. Those targeted by his crimes are calling him a con artist with a convincing story.

Bethany Police say the man will tell business owners he works for Stan's Plumbing. He then claims he needs to borrow money for gas or a locksmith with promises that Stan will pay the business back.

News 9 obtained surveillance video from the Native America Gallery in Bethany which shows the suspect in action.

"I fell for it," said 89-year-old victim Freda Williamson. "Yeah, I was scammed."

Williamson was behind the counter at the Native American Gallery, at the time, not knowing her generosity was about to cost her $65.00 and some frustration.

"How dumb I was," said Williamson. "It'll never happen again."

Freda soon realized she wasn't the only one who was being scammed. Police say the suspect has been hitting up businesses in Bethany, Oklahoma City and Warr Acres for several weeks with similar sob stories. Bethany police late Wednesday said that at least five businesses in Bethany have been targeted in Bethany alone. Bethany police also say the man is targeting homes.

"It's frustrating," said Stan Seaton, owner of Stan's Plumbing.

Seaton says the con is a former employee named Michael Matherly. Seaton says Matherly will dress in a company uniform and provide his victims with business cards.

"We hear about a lot of cases where he uses my name to say he's out of gas," said Seaton.

Stan's Plumbing provided News 9 with a photo of Matherly. He his described as a tall white man in his late 40's.

"He's a big, tall, slender guy. You think ‘cowboy' probably when you see him," said Seaton.

Back at the Native America Gallery, Freda Williamson is thankful that all she lost was some cash.

"What if I would have refused him," wondered Williamson. "He was anxious."

In more than 15 years of working behind the counter, Freda says it's the first time something like this has happened.

Police say they are still looking for the suspect. Police hope to charge him with obtaining money by false pretense.

If you have information on the suspect, contact Bethany Police at (405) 789-2323.