BELFAST, Maine — Authorities are on the hunt for an alleged flim-flam man on the lam they believe stole more than half a million dollars from midcoast residents about six years ago.

A warrant was signed last week for the arrest of Robert J. Howarth, 61, who has several aliases, according to the Maine Attorney General’s office. Investigators said that whether he was known as Howarth, as Robert Chiofolo, as Robert Kim Lee or as Robert Sachs, he came to the Belfast area from Massachusetts around early 2009, befriended people, then asked them to invest in his clothing business.

“He came to the area, claimed that he was a successful businessman, and seemed to back that up by having lots of cash, dressing really well and having nice things,” Carrie Carney, an assistant attorney general, said Tuesday. “He convinced people to invest in his clothing business and said he’d give them significant returns on their investments.”

He was so convincing, she said, that 17 people decided to invest with him. The sums of money he received from area folks ranged from $3,000 to $200,000, and Howarth is alleged to have gotten a total of $572,000 from them.

Carney said that Howarth told different people different things regarding how he would make his money, but in general he said he would buy last year’s clothing from retailers at sharply reduced rates and then profitably resell the clothes overseas.

However, instead of doing this, she said, Howarth apparently left the area. As far as the Maine Office of Securities is concerned, he resurfaced in 2012 in York County, where he allegedly convinced a couple to invest $27,000 in his clothing business. York County is where Howarth first came to the attention of state and federal authorities, Carney said, and in March the York County Grand Jury charged Howarth with theft by deception, a Class B felony, and securities fraud, a Class C felony. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on those charges.

As federal investigators looked into the York County alleged theft, they learned about Howarth’s Waldo County investors.

“The victims have been interviewed, and we’ve used that information to build our case,” Carney said.

Howarth was indicted last week by the Waldo County Grand Jury and charged with theft by deception and securities fraud. According to the warrant issued for his arrest, bail on the Waldo County charges has been set at $100,000, and there is a nationwide request for his extradition.

Carney said that Howarth is white, 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighs 190 pounds and has brown hair and hazel eyes. She was trying to get a photograph of the alleged fraudster that could be shared with the media.

“We hope that we can find him, and that we can bring him to justice,” she said. “We’re hoping that he can make the victims whole, but I don’t know what his means are.”