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Trio indicted for alleged investment scheme

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Three Roswell residents have been indicted on charges of misleading investors about an investment proposal involving a medical marijuana company.

A grand jury seated in Roswell returned the indictments against Gary Baker, 59; Karen Maynes, 56; and Irma Philips, 63 on Aug. 28 on charges of securities fraud, fraud, embezzlement and conspiracy, according to a press release dated Sept. 18 from the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department’s Securities Division.

The charges stem from a 2014 investment scheme proposal to establish and operate “Nature’s Pharmacy, Inc.,” a medical marijuana company.

The release states that the indictment alleges Baker, Maynes and Philips accepted money from New Mexico residents for the company without disclosing that none of them had past experience with commercial marijuana operations or that the money collected from investors would be used for purposes unrelated to the proposed business.

If convicted on the charges outlined in the indictment, Baker and Maynes could face a maximum possible sentence of 45 years in prison and Philips a sentence of 27 years, according to the release.

Matthew Boulin, director of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, said he is looking forward to working with Dianna Luce, Chaves County District Attorney, to protect investors by proving the allegations listed in the indictment in court.

Baker and Maynes are scheduled to be arraigned in 5th Judicial District Court in Roswell Friday, Oct. 4 at 9 a.m., according to court documents.

Philips already pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Monday to four counts of securities fraud, three counts of fraud over $20,000 and two counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Court documents state that Philips has been released on a $5,000 bond.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.