Victim of career con man: 'I hope he dies and rots in jail'

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland police are looking for a 73-year-old man who they said has been conning people around the country since 1962.

They're asking for the public's help finding Nickolas Kasemehas.

Kasemehas, who goes by the name Nick, was released from prison in September 2012 and immediately started conning people in the Salem area. He's also been seen in the Portland area.

"Many of his cons involve schemes around gold, jewelry and loans," police said in a news release.

Kasemehas' criminal history includes cons in San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Portland and many other small cites, police said.

The KATU Investigators focused on Kasemehas in 2008 when he was known as the "Casanova con man." He'd been scamming people in the Seattle area before he arrived in Portland. He was convicted of aggravated theft and sentenced to three years in prison.

Annette Day said he visited her Salem restaurant several times after he was released in 2012, and he seemed like a kindly old gentleman. Day said Kasemehas told her he was a retired criminal attorney. He eventually convinced her to give him money to invest.

"I'd like to see him put behind bars for the rest of his life. And I hope he dies and rots in jail," said Day. "How someone can twist even the most savvy of people is so far beyond my little world here in West Salem, and I'm sure as it is with the people up the road, to the right, to the left, that have been taken also."

Day said a friend told her who Kasemehas really was. She told him that she needed her money back because she had another investment opportunity, and he gave it to her. She's worried he got it from other victims.

Dan Wold of Keizer said he met Kasemehas when he was looking for a driver.

"I said 'where you from?' He said 'Portland'," Wold said. "'I'm a retired criminal attorney. 43 years.'"

Wold drove Kasemehas in a van from Keizer to Albany to Portland. He always got paid. Then Kasemehas asked him for an investment of $7,500. Wold gave it to him, and never saw that money again.

Kasemehas is a white man who is 5'9'' tall and weighs about 175 pounds. Police said he's in very good physical shape. He has gray and brown hair and brown eyes.

Police also said he is fond of expensive cigars and smokes daily.

Investigators want to hear from anyone who's seen Kasemehas or been victimized by one of his cons. You're asked to call Detective Liz Cruthers with that information at 503-823-0272.

Anyone who sees Kasemehas is asked to call 911.

"I believe he should have stayed in prison the last time because he repeats, he repeats, he repeats," said Wold. "And there's more victims."

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