Related Stories
AZTEC — A judge on Friday extended a restraining order to allow insurance company forensic auditors more time to examine documents at Farmington's New Mexico Title Co.

District Court Judge Karen Townsend extended the order allowing First American Title Insurance access to the business, and to prevent others from removing or destroying documents.

The auditors may be able to finish their examination by Wednesday, said Arturo Jaramillo, a Santa Fe attorney representing First American. The order extends through Friday to give the auditors plenty of time.

Townsend also approved a subpoena to obtain related records at Four Corners Community Bank.

Chad Cox, owner of New Mexico Title Co., participated in the hearing by telephone, as did Kristina Martinez, a Santa Fe attorney representing Bobby and Carrie Willis. The Willises own an escrow business known as New Mexico Title Escrow at the same location, 650 W. Main St. Suite C, through Golden Rule, a limited liability corporation.

Neither Cox nor Martinez objected to extending the restraining order.

"The audit has been going smoothly," Martinez said.

A separate hearing was held Friday in Santa Fe on a similar restraining order obtained by the state Financial Institutions Division. The judge extended that restraining order for an additional 10 business days, said S.U. Mahesh, spokesman for the state Regulation and Licensing Department.


Martinez and an attorney for the Financial Institutions Division declined to comment Friday.

The hearings were the latest in the legal fallout from the closure of New Mexico Title Co. The decades-old business abruptly closed Jan. 30, and employees were sent home. Several customers have said they did not receive expected disbursements from escrow accounts, or that payments to escrow accounts were not properly credited.

Sgt. Brandon Lane, a Farmington Police Department detective, said Tuesday that millions of dollars appear to be missing.

State regulators on Monday launched an investigation into possible violations of state codes in concert with First American, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based insurance company. Once their report is completed, Farmington police will determine if criminal charges are warranted.