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Former bassist for The Ataris admits to masterminding multi-million-dollar real estate scam

October 01, 2018 / Ben Lane

The former bass player in The Ataris, a rock band that gained notoriety with a 2003 cover of Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer,” admitted in court late last week that he spearheaded a massive real estate scam that defrauded more than 100,000 people nationwide out of more than $25 million. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois, Michael Davenport, who was The Ataris’ bassist from 1998 through 2005, pleaded guilty last week to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. As part of his plea, Davenport admitted to owning and operating a California-based telemarketing business that supposedly offered prospective renters and homebuyers access to homes for sale or rent on the cheap. All they had to do to get access to the homes was pay a $199 fee to Davenport’s company.