Landscape scammer in slammer - Morgan Hill Times: Crime Fire Courts

Landscape scammer in slammer

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Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013 12:05 pm | Updated: 10:38 am, Thu Apr 11, 2013.

South County's "landscape scammer" appeared in court on April 4, for a sentencing that was postponed - but in the meantime, he'll be locked up.

Michael Oliveira, the 43-year-old Gilroy man who scammed at least 25 people into paying him for landscape services he never completed was determined by the court to be a flight risk and is now held in custody until his next court date, according to Janet Berry, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case. 

The new date for sentencing is scheduled for May 9 at the South County Courthouse. 

On January 24 Oliveira pled guilty to all 20 counts of theft and elder fraud.

He is facing time in jail and restitution for all 20 victims as well as five more victims that were not included in the initial charge, Berry said. He could spend up to 14 years in jail for 12 counts of petty theft and eight counts of misdemeanor elder fraud. 

Oliveira was arrested July 21 in Gilroy, one month after the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office launched an investigation into 18 reports from Gilroy and Morgan Hill residents who claimed they were scammed by a “charming” middle-aged man trolling for money under the guise of an independent landscaper.

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