POSTED: Monday, April 16, 2012 - 12:11pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 11, 2012 - 4:38pm
LAS CRUCES, NM — A man suspected of forging his ex-wife’s signature on a quitclaim deed – and selling the woman’s home without her permission or knowledge – has been arrested and charged with four felonies.
Thirty-seven-year-old Reuben James Armijo is charged with two counts of forgery, and one count each of perjury and fraud.
Las Cruces Police detectives learned that Armijo and the woman were married for nearly six years ending in July 2000 and together they owned a home on the 1400 block of Boston Drive. As part of their divorce settlement, Armijo’s ex-wife was awarded ownership of the home but she allowed him to live there, and pay rent, while she pursued a career with the U.S. Border Patrol.
During an August 2010 court appearance Armijo testified under oath that his ex-wife signed a quitclaim deed on the home. The woman denied signing the deed, which was notarized in Colorado on Jan. 15, 2009. At that time the quitclaim deed was signed, Armijo’s ex-wife was in West Virginia training with the Border Patrol.
Detectives learned that Armijo asked a cousin of his, in Colorado, to notarize the forged quitclaim deed and later testified to its authenticity during the court proceedings.
In January 2011 Armijo’s ex-wife learned that her home was for sale. The woman attempted to contact the realtor who was listing the home but received no response. The woman later learned that the home had already sold, in December 2010, for $80,000. After paying off a mortgage loan on the property that he obtained in 2009, Armijo pocketed approximately $45,000 from the sale of his ex-wife’s home.
Armijo was arrested Friday and transported to the Dona Ana County Detention Center with bond set at $40,000.