Fugitive Who Conned 68 People For Millions Has Been Hiding Out In Los Angeles, Says FBI
In 2005, Craig Oliver pleaded guilty to scamming 68 people in Virginia and Maryland for an amount of exceeding $2.5 million. He was sentenced to 20 years, but before before Oliver ever made it into a jail cell, he vanished. A decade went by and Oliver remained a fugitive. However, on Sunday night, CNBC aired a 2012 episode of American Greed that covered Oliver's case. According to a release from the FBI, this episode sparked a number of tips indicating that Craig Oliver and his wife, Jennifer Oliver, had been living in Los Angeles.
Agents tracked the Olivers to a business in L.A. where they were told that the Olivers had stopped by earlier to pick up a check and had mentioned that they were headed out of town. It would appear the pair has disappeared once again.
While in L.A., Oliver went by Leigh Owsley and worked as a consultant for home renovations, specializing in windows and doors. He worked in both Culver City and Gardena, as well as other parts of L.A. County. Jennifer Oliver allegedly used the alias Tara Jean.
Back in the early 2000s, Oliver preyed on homeowners. He would talk them into paying upfront for work on their homes, but that work would never be done. Oliver would scam single victims for thousands, some for as much as $200,000, the L.A. Times reports.
In a 2006 article in the Business Gazette, one of his victims was identified as Shirley A. Campolieto. She told Oliver in 2003 that she had was suffering from colon cancer and had an upcoming surgery. Oliver convinced Campolieto to sign a contract before her surgery by telling her that seeing work done on her house would "take your mind off the cancer."
By 2004, very little had been done, even though Campolieto had given Oliver over $70,000. She died in June of 2004. The FBI stated that the stress of her issues with Oliver took a "serious toll on her health."
Victims reported looking up Oliver on the Better Business Bureau and checking his license. "Everything checked out," another victim, Carol DePrato, told the Gazette. "I don't know what else I could have done." But Oliver was using phony business licenses at the time.
Oliver was spotted in Arizona at one point, but was not apprehended. It's not clear where he might be at this time, though an FBI poster indicates the couple may have ties to California, Nevada, and Georgia. Anyone with information as to Craig and Jennifer Oliver's current whereabouts may contact the L.A. FBI office 24 hours a day at 310-477-6565. More photos of the pair are available here.