Willis’ firm investigated after closure
New Mexico authorities are investigating the abrupt closure of a title company tied to Bobby Willis, the man behind last year’s aborted “Bobby’s Birthday Bash” music festival in Mesa County.
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission said the agency’s division of insurance will probe the closure of Farmington-based New Mexico Title Co., which shuttered Tuesday, leaving customers without access to their accounts.
The title company’s parent company, JJ Bond Investments, was listed “not in good standing” because it has not filed an annual report, the commission said in a news release.
“At this point we are reviewing all the company’s activity and are working through our staff to ensure customers are protected and to find out if any rules were broken,” said John Franchini, New Mexico’s superintendent of insurance.
Bobby Willis is listed in state business records as an officer and director of JJ Bond Investments, although Willis told the Farmington Daily Times he no longer owns the company. Willis told the newspaper his attorneys and accountants were looking into claims of missing escrow money.
One customer with an escrow account told the Daily Times he still is waiting on a $2,500 payout, expected to have been sent Jan. 23.
Several employees, including the title company’s manager, said they learned last Monday that they had been fired.
The Mesa County Commission in April approved Willis’ proposed “Bobby’s Birthday Bash,” a country music festival scheduled for June 23–25 of last year. The festival was canceled in May after Willis missed payment and deposit deadlines with Mesa County.