Michael Davenport of Ataris indicted in $27 million phone scam

As posted by Uproxx, Michael Davenport who was bassist forThe Ataris from 1998 to 2005 was indicted in late 2017 on charges of federal conspiracy and fraud charges. According to the allegations, between 2009 and 2016, Davenport and a person named Cynthia Rawlinson swindled about 100,000 people out of funds totaling about $27 million.

The scam worked as follows: The pair would place Ads on craigslist stating that people could contact a company called "American Standard" for information on houses in pre-forclosure status that could be purchased at below market value. Then, when a prospective caller telephoned the number, the caller was charged a $199 fee to access the information. The trick is that there either was no information sent out following the payment, or the information that was sent out was fake. In order to request a refund, callers would have to complete a form, wait 90 days, and provide "five copies of letters from other property owners proving the homes were in fact not correctly listed." After that, refunds were still not issued.

Davenport was arrested at Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas and had $104,000 on his person. He also had $850,000 in his personal bank account. Davenport and Rawlinson have a hearing tomorrow in regards to the charges.