SANTA FE, N.M. — Former luxury real estate developer William “Kal” Kalinowski is back in Santa Fe – and this time his accommodations are the county jail.
Kalinowski was indicted for fraud last month, more than five years after homebuyers, builders and investors alleged he took them for as much as $11 million.
A judge issued a warrant for his arrest on Oct. 7 after he failed to show up for his arraignment in Santa Fe. State District Court Judge Stephen Pfeffer rejected a waiver of arraignment that Kalinowski, who has been living in Massachusetts, had filed “pro se,” serving as his own lawyer.
He was arrested on the warrant a few days later at his home in Duxbury, Mass. New Mexico court records show he was transported from a Plymouth, Mass., jail to New Mexico and into the custody of the Santa Fe County Sheriffs’ Office on Sunday. He was officially booked into the Santa Fe County jail at 10:10 p.m. last night.
He is now scheduled to appear in court for arraignment before District Judge T. Glenn Ellington on Wednesday. Ellington took over the case after Pfeffer retired earlier this month. He’s being held under a $20,000 cash bond, the jail’s website says.
In September, a state grand jury indicted Kalinowski, 68, on 10 felony counts of fraud and embezzlement.
The investigation of Kalinowski was sparked in 2008 after homebuyers, investors and subcontractors reported that high-end home construction projects that they paid him to complete were never finished. The recent indictments came nearly four months after media inquires into the case prompted the state Regulation and Licensing Department to reopen an investigation it had suspended in early 2011.
The RLD had said the case was suspended by a holdover administrator from Gov. Bill Richardson’s term because the department lacked necessary resources to prosecute.
The Attorney General’s Office and the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Santa Fe said RLD dropped the case without following through on their offers to provide assistance.
An RLD spokesman, S.U. Mahesh, said in September that new evidence was found after the case was reopened in May, leading to the agency filing criminal charges.