A grand jury has indicted the former head of the University of New Mexico Athletics Department on seven felony counts in connection with a golf trip to Scotland in 2015 that was paid for, in part, with university funds.
Paul Krebs, the former UNM athletic director, was charged in February through a criminal complaint with several felonies related to the trip. A grand jury indictment was filed in 2nd Judicial District Court on Wednesday.
The state Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, has already alleged that Krebs used his position at UNM to plan and participate in a golf trip paid for by UNM using public money. The AG’s Office has said in court documents that Krebs bypassed university oversight for such travel and expenses, and he later tried to quiet the scandal by deceptively deleting records and paying the university back for part of the trip.
Krebs, 63, had been scheduled to appear in court next week for a preliminary hearing, where a judge would have determined after hearing evidence during a public hearing if there was probable cause Krebs committed a crime.
A spokesman for the attorney general didn’t say why the office chose to present the case to a grand jury instead of during the hearing scheduled for next week.
“A citizen grand jury in a court of law determined that there was sufficient evidence that criminal charges should be filed,” Matt Baca, the spokesman, said in an email.
Paul Kennedy, Krebs’ attorney, said he and his client received a target letter informing them the case was being presented to a grand jury. Krebs didn’t appear before the panel, Kennedy said.
“I have every confidence that Paul will be vindicated by a jury of his peers, and we look forward to our day in court,” Kennedy said.
Krebs retired from UNM in 2017.
The newly filed indictment charges Krebs with embezzlement over $20,000 for using $24,500 of UNM money to pay for three individuals not affiliated with UNM or the UNM Association to go golfing in Scotland. He is charged with lesser embezzlement counts for using $13,625 in UNM money to pay a down payment for the trip and taking $9,379 from UNM to pay for himself to go on the trip.
The indictment also charges Krebs with unlawful interest in a public contract, tampering with evidence, criminal solicitation and tax fraud.
Kennedy said it was his understanding the charges in the grand jury indictment related to the same allegations outlined in the criminal complaint filed in February.