Santolina and the Water Authority #NMLEG HB331- SB609

Alva Simpson

Alva was a pretty good salesman. In his youth he had a job as the local agent for some notorious businessmen in Chicago who sold land in New Mexico over the phone and through magazine ads. Unsuspecting buyers heard misleading claims about its future value in high-pressure sales pitches. Alva was to show land to the few buyers who insisted on seeing what they were paying for.

When prospective purchasers got to town, Alva would show them around and postpone the site visit, first offering the tired travelers dinner and drinks. Then  he'd give them a tour of town to see what potential development would certainly look like in a few years. Finally, just as it was getting dark, they would arrive at the edge of a partially built subdivision for a view of the city lights below.Cozy y mesa

Alva would apologize for it getting so late. He would suggest they come back the next afternoon when he was free, knowing it was after their planned departure.  He'd tell them they could easily find the staked lot corners by themselves. "Your lot number is marked right on the corner stakes over there," he'd gesture broadly.

In the morning, buyers easily found the numbered wooden stakes near where they had parked the night before. What a view! - the couples would agree, glancing at impressive nearby homes.  More often than not, they were satisfied.

But the lot they agreed to purchase was much further away, surrounded by nothing and nearly inaccessible for the deep sand. Same lot number, different "unit."

The Chicago businessmen were eventually indicted by the FTC for defrauding purchasers. Alva avoided trouble by being underage at the time but learned some lessons. Unfortunately they weren't very good lessons.  


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