Spaceport America’s Former CFO Files Lawsuit Alleging Racketeering, Securities Fraud and Whistleblower Persecution by NM Officials

Spaceport America’s former CFO Zach De Gregorio has filed a complaint alleging racketeering, securities fraud, and whistleblower persecution by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other officials related to his termination from his job at the state-run facility. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports:

In a 250-page complaint filed in the state’s first judicial district in Santa Fe, Zach De Gregorio alleges he was effectively terminated after he filed a whistleblower complaint that triggered a 2020 investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement, ethical violations and abuse of power by the spaceport’s former director, Dan Hicks. 

Hicks, who did not comment publicly on the claims, was terminated in 2021 and succeeded by Scott McLaughlin….

De Gregorio, who now resides in Arizona, alleges a broad conspiracy involving Lujan Grisham, state auditor Brian Colón, state Attorney General Hector Balderas, spaceport personnel and the New Mexico Finance Authority “to commit procurement fraud, commit securities fraud, break multiple Federal laws, and commit violations of the NM Whistleblower Protection Act.”  

While the filing states several complaints about Colón’s office, the state auditor noted that only “the state of New Mexico” is named as a party to the case as initially filed.

A report commissioned by the state concluded that De Gregorio had aided Hicks in various illegal and unethical actions while both men worked at the spaceport.

De Gregorio has posted a PDF version of his lawsuit for download here.