By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff
An employee with the Clovis office of the Motor Vehicle Division used duplicate driver’s licenses to take out fraudulent loans, according to allegations contained in court documents filed in Curry County Magistrate Court.
Amy Ramirez-Trevino, a clerk at the MVD, and her now 18-year-old son took out bank loans locally and throughout the state in names of two relatives and an acquaintance, an arrest affidavit said. They used doctored New Mexico driver’s licenses, false pay stubs and powers of attorney notarized by Ramirez-Trevino to take out the loans, the affidavit said. Ramirez-Trevino generated replacement driver’s licenses for at least two people while employed at the MVD, the affidavit showed.
The tally of the alleged fraud incidents is quickly approaching $100,000 as police continue to uncover new evidence, New Mexico State Police Capt. Dan Lopez said Friday.
An arrest warrant was issued Nov. 28 for Ramirez-Trevino, but police have been unable to locate her.
Lopez said there could be more victims identified as the investigation continues.
Rudy Trevino was arrested Friday on charges of conspiring with his mother, Lopez said. He was a minor at the time the incidents occurred, Lopez said.
Trevino is being held at the Curry County Adult Detention Center on a $3,000 bond, according to jail officials.
Officers were made aware of the possible fraud when the niece of Ramirez-Trevino’s common-law husband, living in Japan, called police to report identity theft Oct. 4. She had been alerted to a suspicious loan taken out in Clovis under her name, the affidavit said.
The woman told police she moved from Clovis to Japan in December 2005 with her Marine husband and could not have taken out a $3,000 loan in August at Western Bank in Clovis, the affidavit said. Western Bank employees told police a woman matching Ramirez-Trevino’s description identified herself as the victim in August and took out a loan she said was for Rudy Trevino’s college expenses, the affidavit said.
A subsequent investigation uncovered two more loans taken out at Wells Fargo Bank in the name of the victim and Rudy Trevino totaling more than $20,000. Bank employees gave police statements similar to those of Western Bank employees. They said a woman matching Ramirez-Trevino’s description, using the victim’s identification, had opened joint accounts with Rudy Trevino, whom she identified as her stepson, the affidavit said.
During an interview with investigators Oct. 12, Ramirez-Trevino denied involvement in the loan transactions, the affidavit said.
Ramirez-Trevino was arrested Oct. 12 on an unrelated charge of issuing worthless checks and released on bond soon after. During the booking process, documents pertaining to other people were discovered in her purse.
She took out multiple loans in the names of two of them, records show.
Officers last had contact with Ramirez-Trevino Nov. 1, Lopez said.
“She is on the run. The officer (handling the case) has made numerous attempts to find her. Her location is unknown to us. We would appreciate any information leading to her location or arrest,” he said.
Brenda Montoya, a spokesperson from the state Department of Tax and Revenue, said she was not in a position to address questions in the case and referred the question to another representative who did not respond as of press time Saturday.