Risk Management

Ex–New Mexico Treasurer Sentenced to Prison

Montoya will join another former state treasurer behind bars over extortion conviction.
Stephen TaubSeptember 27, 2007

Former New Mexico treasurer Michael Montoya was sentenced to 40 months in prison and fined $25,000 for his role in a kickback scheme, the Associated Press reported.

Montoya pleaded guilty almost two years ago to a federal racketeering charge as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors in a case against another former state treasurer. U.S. District Judge James Parker recommended that Montoya serve his time at a low-security federal prison in Englewood, Colo. He also will serve three years of supervised release after his prison term and is prohibited from taking a job with fiduciary responsibilities unless it is approved by the probation office, according to AP.

“I’m just very, very sorry that this all happened,” Montoya reportedly said during the sentencing hearing. In a letter to Parker, he also said, “I am extremely remorseful and pray that you can give me a second chance to live my life with integrity and use whatever influence I may have to persuade others not to do what I did in office.”

Montoya had faced 16 state criminal charges, including soliciting or receiving illegal kickbacks and receiving or demanding bribes. All charges other than the single racketeering count were dismissed.

Montoya, New Mexico’s treasurer from 1995 to 2002, was a key witness for federal prosecutors in the case against Robert Vigil, who served as deputy treasurer under Montoya and succeeded him in the top job. Vigil is serving a three-year federal prison sentence for his conviction last year on a charge of attempted extortion.

State prosecutors charged that Montoya and Vigil demanded kickbacks from investment advisers in return for steering state business their way.

Meanwhile, Montoya is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 1 in a state case in which he pleaded guilty to racketeering as part of a plea bargain, according to the AP.