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Escrow company’s operations remain suspended

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The entrance to the office of Roswell Escrow Services Inc. at 204 W. Second St. (Alex Ross Photo)

Hearing scheduled for today in Santa Fe canceled

Note: The phone number below for the Financial Institutions Division hotline has been corrected.

Business operations of Roswell Escrow Inc., will remain suspended as part of a stipulated order of preliminary injunction and temporary authority reached between the business and state financial regulators.

“Right now, operations have been suspended in accordance with the stipulated order,” Bernice Geiger, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Regulation and Licensing said Tuesday, after news of the agreement was posted on the website of the Department’s Financial Institutions Division.

Geiger said Roswell Escrow Services, whose offices are located at 204 W. Second St., will remain closed until the Financial Institutions Division finishes its examination of the institution.

A call to Richard Olsen of Hinkle Shanor LLP, who represents Roswell Escrow Services’ co-owners Christopher Adam Jensen-Tanner and Mindy Tanner, was not returned before press time Tuesday.

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Because of the agreement, the hearing for a preliminary injunction in New Mexico’s 1st Judicial District that had been scheduled for today at 9 a.m. at the Santa Fe Courthouse has been canceled.

The text of the stipulated order states the Financial Institutions Division demonstrated evidence that showed the need for a preliminary injunction and order of temporary authority, including but not limited to information that the assets or the capital of Roswell Escrow Services are impaired or the company’s affairs are in an unsafe or unsecure manner in violation of the New Mexico Escrow Company Act.

The preliminary injunction enjoins the Tanners from transferring, manipulation or encumbering of funds from seven company accounts.

According to the injunction, the Tanners are also prohibited from entering Roswell Escrow Service Inc.’s premises at 204 W. Second St. or directing anyone else to, unless they first receive the permission of Financial Institution Division personnel. They are also prohibited from destroying, tampering with or removing records located at the business or off-site locations; or in any way obstructing the examination or investigation of Roswell Escrow Services.

The injunction authorizes the Financial Institutions Division to continue to exercise immediate and unrestricted access to Roswell Escrow Services’ offices, records or assets, as they gather information for their examination.

Roswell Escrow Services temporarily halted operations Nov. 14 after the Financial Services Division applied for and received a temporary restraining and enforcement order and preliminary injunction. The order was applied for after an examination by the Financial Institutions Division of Roswell Escrow’s records and accounts that began Oct. 23, which found more than $1.5 million missing from the company’s client trust account.

Customers of Roswell Escrow Services who have questions about their accounts can contact the Financial Institutions Division hotline at 505-660-4687.

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