After Robert Bouconi was released from prison in January, Scottsdale police say he ran a tri-state fraud scheme by posing as a lead guitarist for rock ‘n’ roll bands REO Speedwagon and Lynyrd Skynyrd as part of an effort to bilk unknowing business partners.
But the REO Speedwagon hit song, “Take It On The Run” is no longer one of Bouconi’s themes.
Scottsdale police arrested the 47-year-old ex-convict Wednesday morning at Coco’s Restaurant, 4520 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix, while he was waiting to meet a real estate agent under the premise that he intended to buy a multimillion-dollar home.
While posing as famous musicians and a wealthy real estate developer, Bouconi received free meals and drinks and promised to purchase expensive homes and automobiles for people he met in different states, according to Scottsdale police.
As part of the schemes, police said, Bouconi requested he be paid transfer fees of up to $350 for the vehicles he promised would be delivered to the people. He would then skip town after receiving the money, police said.
Bouconi also engaged the services of numerous real estate agents, wrote contracts for multimillion-dollar homes while promising to pay cash but never completed the transactions.
Bouconi was released from the state prison in Florence in January where he had been an inmate for a total of six years since February 1996, serving sentences for forgery and fraudulent schemes, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.
After his most recent release from prison, Bouconi traveled between Arizona, California and New Mexico, posing as the lead guitarists for the two 1970s-era super bands, according to police.
Bouconi is being held in Maricopa County’s Fourth Avenue Jail on $3,600 bail.
Scottsdale detectives said they began investigating Bouconi last month after receiving complaints from two people who said they were duped in the transfer-fee scenario.
Police have identified four victims, but said they believe more people have fallen victim to Bouconi’s scheme.
Incidentally, REO Speedwagon performed at Casino Arizona in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on Saturday and in Tucson on Sunday.