Former Ataris bassist Michael Davenport faces up to 30 years in prison for his role in a $27 million real estate scam, according to Rolling Stone and other outlets.
Davenport and his partner, Cynthia Rawlinson, were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. He was due in court on Wednesday.
In the grand jury charges filed at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Davenport and his telemarketing firm American Standard are accused of victimizing “over 100,000 people” and defrauding “these individuals out of more than $27,000,000” from 2009 to 2016.
The charges allege that Davenport was running a scheme that offered customers an opportunity to purchase houses that were in foreclosure for $199. But the listings were allegedly “false and misleading” and very often no houses existed at all at the locations offered.
When the customer attempted to have their money refunded, American Standard made it “virtually impossible to satisfy” requests for refunds. The company had three offices in Santa Barbara, California, as well as a call center, and allegedly fleeced victims in all 50 states.
Davenport played bass in the Ataris from 1995 to 2004, performing on the band’s biggest hit, a punk rendition of Don Henley‘s “The Boys of Summer” from its breakthrough 2003 LP So Long, Astoria. You can watch the video above.