This week's SFR reveals allegations
that prominent Santa Fe lobbyist Walter "Butch" Maki—an old friend of Gov. Bill Richardson—may have benefited from money his former son-in-law embezzled from a profitable Kewa Pueblo-owned business.
There is an ironic footnote to the story, one that involves a big scandal from the George W Bush era.
In 2003 and 2004, Maki's then-son-in-law and employee, Anthony Moya, stole an estimated $500,000 from tribal gas station that Maki had contracted to manage. Pueblo Gas, Inc, president Lorenzo Tafoya tells SFR that a federal investigation of Moya was delayed by the political turmoil surrounding then-US Attorney David Iglesias
As political junkies will recall, Iglesias was basically fired by the Bush White House for his unwillingness to target Democrats for prosecution. If Tafoya's perception is accurate, it means chief Republican strategist Karl Rove shot himself in the foot
by inadvertently derailing a US Attorney's probe into the relative of a lobbyist with longstanding ties to a Democratic Presidential candidate.
Anyway, that's the footnote.
As further background to the story in this week's paper, SFR presents some of the relevant government documents
regarding both Anthony Moya's embezzlement and Butch Maki's subsequent legal dispute with Kewa Pueblo.
First, here's a summary of Moya's case, from a semiannual report to Congress by the Department of Interior's Office of Inspector General:
New Mexico Contractor Pleads Guilty To Stealing Tribal Funds
On March 11, 2009, Anthony D. Moya pled guilty in U.S. District Court to embezzlement from the Santo Domingo Pueblo tribe. He admitted to stealing tribal funds while employed as a contract manager working for Dream Catcher Consulting Corporation,
owned by his then-father-in-law, a New Mexico political consultant and well-known businessman.
At the time, Moya had managed a Phillips 66 gas station upgraded with $600,000 from a BIA secured loan.
A federal grand jury indicted Moya in November 2008 on 16 counts of embezzlement for allegedly stealing $140,000 from the tribe. The indictment charged that from November 2003 to March 2004, Moya diverted tribal funds to his own personal use. He paid his American Express bills, wrote checks to himself, and provided $25,000 to his then-wife.
During the time of the embezzlement, Moya was the vice-president of Santa Fe Protective Services, a federal contracting firm owned by his former wife.The OIG investigation disclosed that Moya used tribal funds to help cover Santa Fe Protective Service's payroll, rent payments, and advertising expenses
, without any clear authorization from the tribe. These findings were not used in the criminal proceedings against Moya, however.
In his signed plea agreement, Moya admitted to misusing approximately $312,000 of Santo Domingo funds from 2002 to 2004. Moya currently owns and operates Omni Development Corporation, a Santa Fe-based general contracting firm.
Click this link to read Anthony Moya's guilty plea
, from last year. The 2008 federal indictment is embedded below.
There's more. Affidavit of Lorenzo Tafoya (Pueblo Gas, Inc) Page 1
Unfortunately, for technical reasons, the following pages from Butch Maki's breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Kewa tribe couldn't be easily scanned into Google Docs.
Click the links below to open each page of the opposing parties' affidavits, filed in the 1st Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, in a new window.
, Page 2
, Page 3
, Page 4
, Page 5Affidavit of Butch Maki (Dream Catcher Consulting) Page 1
, Page 2
, Page 3
Image credit (top): SEIU.