ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rio Rancho Police believe an employee at a long-time Rio Rancho realty company has embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars, cheating several clients.
Police and the New Mexico Real Estate Commission are investigating Double R Realty, which has operated in the City of Vision since the community’s early years.
A news release issued by the Rio Rancho Police Department on Friday morning said detectives were serving a search warrant at the Double R office, 4020 Peggy Road, Suite A.
“During the initial stage of the investigation, detectives determined that hundreds of thousands of dollars has been embezzled by an employee,” the release said. “Several individuals and businesses to income homeowner associations have been victimized.”
Police didn’t identify the suspect.
The office has been closed for more than a week. A sign on the door said “recent events concerning Double R’s management and accounting” were under investigation by law enforcement and the commission.
“No further comment or information can be provided at this time during the pending investigation,” the sign read.
Calls to the New Mexico Real Estate Commission were not returned.
Double R managed seven homeowners associations and three commercial property owners associations in Rio Rancho and surrounding communities, according to its website. Employees also handled retail and commercial sales and leasing.
Double R had managed the Pueblo Los Cerros Unit Owners Association in Corrales, east of Intel Corp.
Association board president Paul Mansfield said Thursday that he was aware of the investigations but had no clue why they came about.
“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances,” Mansfield said. “My only gripe about all this is I wish the company had paid the clients the courtesy of a phone call.”
He would have liked to receive notification, even if no details could be included, instead of being “left in the lurch” without warning or information.
“We’ve all just kind of cobbled it together,” he said.
Mansfield said he began to be aware of the problem when emails to Double R began to receive only automated replies saying the office was closed because of an emergency beyond employees’ control. When he went by the office a few days later, he found it still closed.
Mansfield said the association had relied on Double R for its bookkeeping, and the board is now having the work done internally.
The investigation could have a bigger impact on the association, depending on its outcome.
“But for now, it’s not a very severe impact on us, just a minor inconvenience at this point,” he said.
Mansfield didn’t know if Double R would go out of business, but expected the association would probably have to find a new management company.
Double R managed the Pueblo Los Cerros books for at least five years, Mansfield said, and he knew of no previous problems.
“We’ve had a very smooth working relationship,” he said.