Ataris Bassist Michael Davenport Admits To Masterminding $27 Million Real Estate Fraud Scheme Using Craigslist
Davenport admitted to owning and operating a Santa Barbara-based telemarketing business named American Standard. American Standard offered prospective renters and homebuyers access to homes for sale or rent on the cheap.
He and co-defendant Cynthia Rawlinson ran the fraud through Davenport’s company, American Standard. The company was also known by various different names. It marketed itself as MDSQ Productions, Housing Standard, Anchor House Financial, American Standard, American Standard Online, and Your American Standard at various points.
Ataris Bassist Scammed People For Nearly Seven Years
American Standard allegedly defrauded roughly 100,000 people of $27 million. Furthermore, the scheme operated from approximately January 2009 through at least October 5, 2016.
All they had to do to get access to the homes was pay a $199 fee to Davenport’s company.
American Standard also placed ads on Craigslist stating that certain houses were available for sale or rent at very favorable prices.
Potential customers called in response to these ads. American Standard salespeople would convince them to purchase American Standard’s list of houses for $199.00. The “list” contained more information about the property. The salespersons also said that the houses on the American Standard list were in “pre-foreclosure.”
American Standard employees also told customers they could purchase the houses by simply taking over the mortgage payments.
After the customers paid the $199 fee they learned that the houses on the list were not available for purchase. Customers also discovered that a substantial number of the properties were fictional.
Customers also learned that the houses were not in pre-foreclosure or financial distress. If the customers asked for more information about the houses they had seen on Craigslist, American Standard informed them that the houses were no longer available.
At least 104 victims of the scam were located in twenty-two counties within the Southern District of Illinois. In addition, the indictment charges that American Standard’s list also included 534 houses located in Southern Illinois.
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