The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office has seized the credit card records of former UNM Athletic Director Paul Krebs in search of evidence of money laundering, fraud and embezzlement. The news was first reported by Jessica Dyer of the Albuquerque Journal.
This is part of an ongoing investigation into finances at UNM that was started by Attorney General Hector Balderas last year.
The search warrant, a copy of which has been obtained by the Daily Lobo, was served in an attempt to confirm that a $25,000 dollar payment that was made to the UNM Foundation in May was made by Krebs himself and not an anonymous donor, as Krebs announced at the time of the donation.
The donation came following public backlash after it was revealed that the Athletic Department had used the same amount to cover the expenses of private donors on a 2015 Scotland golf trip.
Vice President for Development Larry Ryan and Foundation General Counsel Pat Allen previously refused to identify the donor, but after a search warrant of Foundation offices was conducted, an employee identified as Annette Hazen confirmed that she remembered the donation and named the donor as Paul Krebs.
Hazen is listed on the foundation website as the Associate Vice President of Development and Campaign Services. She also said that she completed a donation acknowledgment letter for Krebs for tax purposes.
The report also states that Krebs signed the contract with Anthony Travel for the golf trip on behalf of the University of New Mexico, despite only being authorized to sign agreements for game contracts and the rental athletic facilities. The university paid for 24 packages for the trip but was unable to fill them all. In addition, all of the payments to Anthony Travel were made with a UNM purchasing card, which has a set limit of $10,000 dollars.
“Rita Chavez, administrative assistant to Paul Krebs, and Paul Krebs were both aware of the purchasing card restrictions and appear to have structured the payments to Anthony Travel in a manner that suggests they were trying to avoid needing higher approval from the University.”
The warrant, which was filed on Sept. 24, was returned by Chase Bank on Oct. 16.
In order to avoid requiring approval from higher-ups, the trip was listed as Out-of-State travel instead of foreign, which would have required approval from Krebs’ boss.
The $25,000 donated to the Foundation by Krebs was transferred from the Foundation to the Athletic Department and placed in a contingency fund he controlled.
Balderas released the following statement through his office:
"We must continue to fight against corruption within large institutions in New Mexico, including public institutions with duties of transparency and fiscal trust. As the public deserves answers, we will continue our highly active investigation into financial transactions at UNM. We will provide the public with updates as we are able."
According to emails released in a report conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, Krebs instructed his wife, Marjori, to deliver the letter to the Foundation. He also said that Ryan was expecting it, and that there should be nothing on the letter or envelope that would allow it to be traced back to them.
In addition, he told her to delete all emails in their exchange so that they could not be searchable in an IPRA request, something that he previously told various Athletic Department officials in emails released through IPRA requests made by the Albuquerque Journal.
Cameron Goeldner is a sports beat reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and the Albuquerque Isotopes, but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @goeldfinger.