The founder of RVCA, world tour surfer and star of Taylor Steele's Momentum series faces felony charges for fraud…
If you’re younger than thirty there’s a fair chance that you’ve never heard of Conan Hayes. The nose-ringed, tattooed-before-it-was-hip, altitudinally challenged member of the Momentum generation was a big deal in the early-to-mid 90-s, featured alongside Slater, Dorian, Machado, Knox, and all the other Taylor Steele-hyped rippers who rode rockered-out elf-shoe boards and reshaped the very notion of what constituted high-performance surfing.
For a while Conan was everywhere. His company, Seventeen, made the coolest t-shirts of my high school sophomore year, before being killed by the pre-tween girls’ magazine of the same name.
He married Malia Jones, lost a soul crushing heat to Koby Abberton at Teahupoo (too high, too soon, scores from the judges put Malik in an uncatchable early lead despite a rising swell and dominant performance from Hayes), then moved to California and, at some point, grew a long scraggly beard.
While some of his peers went on to become dominant forces for the next two decades, and others faded away into obscurity (what ever happened to Jay Larson anyway? Last I heard the dude was selling real estate in SoCal), Conan moved behind the scenes, co-founding RVCA and using the popularity of its art/mma/soul approach to branding to line his pockets and move up in the world.
(Click here and click here for RVCA and post-RVCA stories)
But the latest news out of the hellish honky pit known as Orange County spells trouble for Mr Hayes. He is currently facing a felony warrant for his arrest stemming from alleged misinformation provided to Bank of America (Click here).
“Hayes is charged with short-sale fraud on a house in Costa Mesa. In a short sale, a bank agrees to the sale of a home for less than the amount owed on the loan. The warrant says Hayes gave Bank of America false information regarding his net worth, ‘which was in the millions of dollars.'”
Hayes wound up in a program for people suffering financial hardships, even though prosecutors contend that in the previous nine months he sold his interest in a business for about $8 million and bought a $1.39 million house in Los Angeles County for cash. The felony complaint says the bank lost $586,245 on the short sale.”
Astute readers may appreciate the irony of B of A being the source of a felony charge for fraud. The bank was the beneficiary of a $45 billion bail out, in addition to the US government assuming an additional $118 billion worth of loss on its behalf, only to be handed a fine, in 2014, of nearly $17 billion for, among other things, a policy of conducting grossly illegal home foreclosures.
A sweetheart deal to be sure, considering the fact they did an estimated $700 billion worth of damage to the US economy.