FBI: Fraud Fugitive Spotted Living, Doing Business In Los Angeles Area

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man found guilty of defrauding dozens of homeowners of more than $2.5 million in 2005 has been spotted in the Los Angeles area, FBI officials said.

After Craig John Oliver was featured in a Sunday episode of the CNBC series “American Greed,” FBI officials say they received tips suggesting that the fugitive and his wife, Jennifer Oliver, were possibly living and conducting business in the Los Angeles area.

“When agents went to a business location that had been provided, they were advised that the couple dropped by earlier today to pick up a check and mentioned they were leaving town,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. “Investigators believe that Oliver was alerted to the recent publicity and fled once again.”

Agents said they believe Oliver has been using aliases, including the name “Leigh Owsley” and that his wife is using the alias “Tara Jean,” Eimiller said. She had not been charged as of Tuesday morning.

“Investigators now have reason to believe Oliver was known to do consulting work in the cities of Culver City and Gardena, among others,” Eimiller said.

Oliver pleaded guilty in 2005 to defrauding 68 Virginia and Maryland homeowners through his home renovation businesses by inducing clients to make payments for work that was never completed. Oliver was released from jail after posting bail, but never made another appearance in court and had to sentenced in absentia to 20 years in federal prison.

craig john oliver1 FBI: Fraud Fugitive Spotted Living, Doing Business In Los Angeles Area

Oliver, who is believed to have fled the Fairfax, Virginia area in November of 2005, has also been known as Craig J. Oliver, Leigh Owsley, Bernard Owsley, Mel Merlowe, Danny Sullivan and Daniel Sullivan. He is described as a white man, 190 pounds, 6-foot-2, balding with brown or gray hair. He has a scar on his right ankle and may also wear a mustache.

The couple may have fled to Georgia, and is also believed to have ties to Nevada.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Craig Oliver, also known as “Leigh Owsley” or his wife, Jennifer Oliver, also known as “Tara Jean” can call the FBI at (310) 477-6565.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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