PHOTO: N.M. Bowl executive director Jeff Siembieda, left, and alleged scam artist Eric Martinez pose at Dreamstyle Stadium — site of the Dec. 21 DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl. Both Siembieda and Martinez have talked about their friendship going back many years. However, many say Siembieda is Martinez’s latest mark. This photo posted on Instagram last August.
COPYRIGHT ENCHANTMENT SPORTS/TICK TALK MEDIA PRODUCTIONS, LLC
Part 3 of a series: Eric Martinez is a shameless self-promoter who bills himself as one of the top actors, entertainers, directors, activists and richest people in New Mexico. Countless others allege he is the top con-artist in New Mexico and the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl is his latest victim.
By Mark Smith
Editor in Chief
Has the dream, indeed, turned into the ultimate nightmare for the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl?
Beginning late Tuesday afternoon, Enchantment Sports and multiple people others discovered this blank page on the link to the title sponsor of the bowl game.
The page was still blank late Wednesday night.
The link previously contained all the information about the DreamHouse staff, including CEO and alleged scam artist Eric Martinez, actor Quinton Aaron (“The Blind Side”) – who numerous people say Martinez uses and rides his coattails — and general manager Ian Stewart. The latter is the son in law of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
On Oct. 1, DreamHouse was named title sponsor for the bowl game.
Other information about DreamHouse — which has yet to be built — can still be found on its website. But not a single person associated with the site is listed.
There has yet to be any reference on the site to the company being the sponsor of the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl.
Enchantment Sports is in possession of a link to the original biography page, and will release it later this week. It contains numerous alleged lies by Martinez.
Enchantment Sports has been investigating allegations about Martinez for two weeks. On Oct. 11, we started our series about Martinez and his numerous alleged scams during the past 23 years.
Many say he is an alleged con man, and has hustle people out of tens of thousands of dollars with lies of being a star actor, director and producer who is in the process of creating major projects.
He allegedly Photoshops himself into scenes with stars, and creates posters to make himself look like a celebrity.
Martinez has not responded to multiple emails with questions from Enchantment Sports about the allegations.
Jeff Siembieda, executive director of the New Mexico Bowl, and Clint Overby, vice president of ESPN Events — which owns the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl — also have yet to respond to a list of questions Enchantment Sports sent to them Friday.
Before it was removed, the biographies on the DreamHouse website listed Stewart — who people said has worked closely with Martinez for at least four years — as the company’s general manager.
On Friday, the governor’s spokesman, Tripp Stelnicki — in an emailed statement — said Stewart was not a “partner or business collaborator” of Martinez.
On Saturday, Stewart said he was not employed by DreamHouse, but was offered the position and was “part of discussions as it’s evolved.”
He said there were “discrepancies” in the statement out of the governor’s office.
Enchantment Sports emailed questions to Stewart, per his request, as to what the “discrepancies” were, and asked other questions about his association with Martinez.
On Saturday, Stewart said he had not heard any of the allegations against Martinez until Enchantment Sports asked the governor about them the previous day.
On Saturday, our website asked Stewart, again by email:
Are you saying that, in the time you have known and/or worked with Eric Martinez, you never heard a single allegation about Martinez being a “scam artist” or “con man” until Oct. 11, 2019?
On Tuesday, Enchantment Sports asked Stelnicki if he knew what Stewart was referring to when he said there were “discrepancies” in the statement out of the governor’s office. It also asked the following questions:
- Have you found out if the state has given any money or promised any money to DreamHouse?
- Has the governor spoken to Stewart about DreamHouse?
- Is the governor aware that the Eric Martinez, who Ian has worked with for at least four years, is the same Eric Martinez with all the allegations against him.
Stelnicki said, “I don’t know what discrepancies you or he was referring to. The state has committed/provided no money to this company.
“The governor, as previously stated, has no involvement in this story and is not aware of the allegations about this company or individual.”
Astonishingly, with a story that involves the son in law of the governor and the New Mexico film industry — one the governor so strongly backs — no other news media have yet reported on the what Enchantment Sports has uncovered.
However, word is getting out.
On Tuesday, Enchantment Sports editor in chief Mark Smith was interviewed by Richard Eeds on Santa Fe radio station KTRC 1260-AM/103.7-FM.
Also on Tuesday, Eddy Aragon of Albuquerque radio station KIVA 1600-AM/ 93.7-FM also made it a huge topic.
Meanwhile, Enchantment Sports has had more than 6,000 views since Saturday morning, and Facebook posts about Martinez and his alleged unscrupulous behaviors are countless, as the story is being shared across the film industry and boxing community.
Martinez also allegedly scammed many people — including young children — in local boxing circles in the mid-1990s.“He just has to be stopped, and it’s about time somebody is making people aware of this guy,” said Steve Garcia, owner and trainer of Power & Glory Gym.
“The story has definitely gone viral,” says Olympic spring medalist Jarrin Solomon, a former friend of Martinez, who said he was at a diaper party on Saturday when the first story in Enchantment Sports’ series on Martinez became a topic.
He said when Martinez’s name came up at the party, “a bunch of people had stories about him being a con (man).”
On Monday, Anna Negron of ESPN told Enchantment Sports it was investigating the allegations presented by Enchantment Sports. On Tuesday, she said there was nothing new to report.
Multiple people told Enchantment Sports that Siembieda has not mentioned the bowl game or Martinez on “The Morning Drive” sports talk show on KNML (610-AM/95.9 FM). Siembieda is the co-host on the show, which runs from 7-10 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Enchantment Sports emailed Siembieda on Tuesday, asking if he had talked about his bowl game and Martinez — both of which he constantly touted the week after the news conference of Oct. 1 — on Monday or Tuesday.
Siembieda did not respond, nor did his public relations spokesman James Hallinan.
On Monday, Hallinan – owner of Intersection Strategies — said he no longer will to respond to any questions from our website.
We also asked Siembieda if he felt “that James Hallinan is properly representing the bowl game with his alleged personal agenda against me or Enchantment Sports?”
The question was also sent to Hallinan, whose company motto is: “Protect Your Brand.”
Siembieda didn’t respond to that, nor did Hallinan.
However, while Hallinan and Siembieda aren’t talking to Enchantment Sports, dozens of other people are as our investigation continues.
Interestingly, Hallinan was also the spokesman for Lujan Grisham during her campaing in 2018.
When asked if he still had a position with the administration, Stelnicki said “James Hallinan does not work for the governor and has no position here.”
While Hallinan, Siembieda, Martinez and Stewart aren’t talking to Enchantment Sports, dozens of other people are.
And our investigation continues.
On Tuesday, we interviewed Joshua Melendez, a state contractor at Kirtland Air Force Base, who said he had been a friend of Martinez for about five years, and “was conned” out of nearly $2,000 by him.
Prior to his interview, Melendez emailed us:
“I wanted to say thank you for shedding light on Martinez, whom has been robbing people for years. First he used boxing, then a company called Power Moves Ent., which he scammed numerous artists and businesses out of hard earned money.
“I used to work with Eric and we were close friends as well. I was also talked into a “business venture” that never happened, like most of the projects he pitches. He also never paid me for items of jewelry he asked for. This hole is deep, keep digging.”
Enchantment Sports interviewed Melendez for more than an hour, and all of the personal details he provided about Martinez matched all others say who say they knew him well.
And there have been many – and all are speaking on the record.
“I’m sure people are coming out of the woodwork now that there’s an outlet,” Melendez said in his interview. “This dude could spark his own “Me Too Movement” from all the people he’s taken advantage of.”
Next: Enchantment Sports continues its investigative series on Martinez, while providing as many updates as possible about his status as title sponsor of the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl.
While we have nowhere near the personnel or resources of the even the smallest media outlet in the state — much less the Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican or the Albuquerque television news stations — we will continue to provide our readers as much information as possible on what could be turning into one of the biggest stories in New Mexico.
Mark Smith has worked in New Mexico sports media for more than four decades, and is one of the most decorated sports journalists in state history. Smith has won more than 30 combined awards in print, television and radio and has been honored nationally for investigative reporting. He is the editor in chief of Enchantment Sports. Contact him at mark.enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.