A rock musician has been charged with running a telemarketing real estate scam that netted $27 million in seven years.
People reports Michael Davenport, currently a member of Versus The World, and formerly a bassist for The Ataris, was indicted last month on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, as well as several counts of fraud by mail and wire.
Davenport, 49, and another woman, Cynthia Rawlinson, 51, are facing more than 30 years in prison if convicted.
The scam involved a telemarketing company Davenport founded in 2009, which allegedly placed ads for below-market-cost homes, charging a $199 fee to view the listing.
Davenport’s company also allegedly told customers that they could take over ownership of a property simply by taking over a homeowner’s mortgage payments.
Victims of the apparent scam began to notice the listed properties were not for sale, or in some cases didn’t exist at all, and upon requesting refunds, were told there was a 90-day waiting period.
Davenport and Rawlinson’s offices were raided by the FBI in October last year, seizing over $100,000 in cash and another $850,000 from Davenport’s bank account. Both suspects will appear in court Wednesday.