Rock musician arrested at Little Rock airport in $27 million fraud scheme
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
A California rock musician was recently arrested in Little Rock in a $27 million telemarketing scheme, according to federal court filings.
Michael Sean Davenport, 49, known as the former bass guitarist for The Ataris, is accused of defrauding more than 100,000 people over an eight-year period in the scheme.
An indictment filed Dec. 12 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois says that Davenport was arrested at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. Authorities reportedly seized $104,000 that he was carrying.
Davenport ran a telemarketing business in Santa Barbara, Calif., between 2009 and 2016, which he operated under at least five different names, according to the indictment. Authorities said it was a scam that generated revenue through "false and misleading" advertisements, many of them on Craigslist, for houses and apartments at low prices. But the company didn't own the residences, and when customers asked about the properties, the company told them they had to purchase its housing list to obtain further information, according to the indictment.
Authorities said Davenport scammed people in each state, including Arkansas.
The company's sales manager, Cynthia Rawlinson, was also arrested. She and Davenport face charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The Santa Barbara Independent first reported the indictment.
The Ataris are best known for their hit 2003 cover of Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer." Davenport left the group in 2004 and joined the punk rock band Versus the World.