Judge sides with Egolfs on how to handle high-stakes fraud battle

A legal battle involving Democrat former New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf, his wife, Kelly Egolf, and a group of prominent investors will be settled through arbitration rather than in court. District Judge Francis Mathew made this decision on Thursday, siding with the Egolfs, who had argued that an agreement between Kelly Egolf and her former business partners at New Mexico Fresh Foods required dispute resolution through arbitration.

“We have been clear from the beginning this case never should have been filed in court, and we are glad Judge Mathew confirmed that today,” stated Brian Egolf’s attorney, Mark Baker, after the ruling, per the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Meanwhile, Clifford Atkinson, representing the plaintiffs, said they are considering options for an appeal but did not provide further comments. The plaintiffs include Bob and Ellen Vladem (the namesake of the Vladem Contemporary Museum), real estate mogul Ed Berman, attorney Dan Perry, philanthropist Gail “Peaches” Gilbert, restaurateur Charles Dale, Jessie Groothuis, and Steven Lustig.

The group claims that the Egolfs devised a scheme to cut them out of New Mexico Fresh Foods by orchestrating a bank sale of its assets to Invictus, a company they allege was set up to defraud them of their $3 million investment.

However, the Egolfs’ legal team argued that the investors deliberately blocked Kelly Egolf’s attempt to secure additional funding when New Mexico Fresh Foods encountered financial trouble. In response, Brian Egolf created Invictus to prevent total financial collapse.

Aside from the investors’ contributions, New Mexico Fresh Foods secured about $700,000 in public funding and benefited from government tax breaks for equipment purchases. Additionally, the company received a $375,000 loan from the Santa Fe Community Foundation.

The Egolfs’ motions to enforce arbitration, filed by attorney Jennifer Noya on behalf of Kelly Egolf and by Baker representing both Brian Egolf and Invictus, also sought to either dismiss the lawsuit or pause the case while arbitration proceeds.

“This isn’t a dispute involving an arbitration agreement that’s buried in some sort of consumer contract or nursing home admission documents,” Noya explained. “Rather, this is a case filed by multiple sophisticated investor groups.”

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3 thoughts on “Judge sides with Egolfs on how to handle high-stakes fraud battle”

  1. Who cares… Corruption in New Mexico is deep and has been for generations. The checks only get bigger as the years pass.

    I care more about the right now! Like when is DA Bregman going to bring charges against the disgusting drag performer who paraded in lewd and sexually explicit was in front of minor children. The educators who invited the pervert should also be charged.

    How about the cartels taking over New Mexico territory and the fact MLG and other politicos are doing nothing about it?

    There is so much wrong and deceitful going on in NM that it flat disgusts me. Oh and let us not forget about abortion and the horrible education rankings in this state.

    Do Better New Mexico!
    Rev. Rico

    1. Dru Tagliapietra

      Nothing will change until we change who is elected to these offices. We continue to vote for Democrats, and this is what we get.

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