Man posed as ship captain to con friends and secret lover out of £320k

Man posed as ship captain to con friends and secret lover out of £320k

August 24, 2022

Conman, 44, who led a double-life posed as a captain of a luxury cruise ship to trick friends and secret lover out of £320,000 with cut-price deals scam is jailed for six years

  • Jody Oliver, 44, dressed up as a P&O captain to con his victims out of £320,000
  • Court heard Oliver is an experienced conman with long history of running scams
  • He was jailed for six years after admitting fraud charges at Newport Crown Court

Pictured: Conman Jody Oliver dressed up as a cruise ship captain to defraud his victims

A ‘seasoned con artist’ who posed as a cruise ship captain to sell phoney luxury holidays to friends and family has been jailed.

Jody Oliver, 44, dressed up in a P&O naval costume to con victims out of £320,000 by offering cruise trips that didn’t exist.

The ‘Walter Mitty’ swindler created a fake ID using the name Capt. Jonathan Flynn Oliver.

He invented names of fictional ship’s officers to convince customers he was the real deal.

Oliver used the money to live a double life, cheating on his wife with a long-term boyfriend who had no idea he was married.

Newport Crown Court heard his victims included friends who had put their entire life savings into one of his once-in-a-lifetime exotic cruises.

Father-of-three Oliver, who has a criminal history of pulling off audacious frauds, was jailed for six years.

Prosecutor Andrew Davies said: ‘Mr Oliver was at the centre of an intricate web of lies and deceit. He was a seasoned con artist.

‘He didn’t care who he hurt. He swindled and lied to those he professed to love.

‘He used false names and job descriptions to obtain money and to live a life he could not afford.’

The court heard his partner Rhys Burgess believed he was a top executive with Jaguar LandRover and had no idea he was married with three children.

Pictured: Oliver at court when he conned world champion rally driver Colin McRae in 2004

Mr Davies said: ‘He was living two fantasy lives, neither of which he could sustain with legitimate income.

‘He started masquerading as a cruise ship captain offering luxurious cruises to exotic locations at a fraction of the price of those obtained from a travel agent.

‘He created the aura of a cruise ship captain through a variety of means which included dressing up as a ship’s captain when he met people to discuss potential cruises.

‘The holidays were then cancelled because of ‘security issues’ overseas or problems with the cruise.’

Former police special constable Oliver used the Alma pub in Newport as his base for selling the non existent cruises to the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

He was well over his head in debt and had lost more than £130,000 gambling and had taken out crippling high interest loans to try and stay afloat.

Oliver was jailed for six years after admitting six counts of fraud at Newport Crown Court

The court heard the alarm was raised with police when victims were left waiting for transport for a bogus trip on December 2018.

Mr Davies said: ‘They were left with packed bags waiting for transport to the airport for their cruise which never arrived.’

Oliver gained notoriety in 2004 after conning former world champion rally driver Colin McRae into believing Coca-Cola was offering him a £3m sponsorship deal.

He was also convicted of a VAT fraud three years ago.

Oliver, of Newport, admitted six charges of fraud between February 2018 and January 2019.

Matthew Buckland, defending, said: ‘He left a path of devastation. His life was spiralling out of control for a lengthy period.’

Judge Richard Williams told Oliver: ‘The motivating factor in your offending was your profound dishonesty and willingness to leech off those of your acquaintance.’

Oliver is facing a proceeds of crime hearing to retrieve some of his victims’ money.

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