They weren't just Mexican nationals — both qualified as U.S. citizens.

Besides, Manriquez hardly could "disappear" into Mexico like a common fugitive, Piccarreta noted in court filings. Manriquez was practically a celebrity, known not just for his media companies but for his political connections: His great-uncle, Plutarco Elias Calles, had been president of Mexico from 1924 to 1928.

Judge Donahoe was asked whether the men simply could agree to forfeit the millions in seized items and money if they failed to appear for court proceedings. The judge agreed that would be fine, and the two walked out of jail after 16 days behind bars.

The state first dropped charges against Mix. The money wasn't his, he argued, and he was co-signing on checks and wire transfers only when his father asked him to. The state conceded his point.

Manriquez, by his own reasoning, was nothing more than Naz's banker. Manriquez denied that his infusion of cash into the club or the car dealership meant he was their owner or manager. His accountant even produced one-page contracts in which Mario had agreed to lend Naz money "in multiples of $250,000" at 24 percent interest.

Even if corporate paperwork and official licensing forms required his name (which they did, police say), Manriquez contended that the law still didn't obligate him to ensure that the borrower, Naz, made necessary disclosures.

Piccarreta noted that Detective Kornegay and Deputy Attorney General Theodore Campagnolo didn't instruct the grand jury correctly on these nuances. The judge agreed and wrote an order to remand the case to the grand jury because Manriquez had no obligation to ensure disclosure if he was a "bona fide creditor."

The state moved to drop charges against Manriquez on December 6, 2010. Two days later, a representative of the AG's Office told New Times that the state intended to keep $12 million of the money seized from Manriquez, regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, and threatened that new charges could come the following year.

It never happened. Instead, the state gave back everything it had seized from Manriquez and his actual son.

Mix, who has homes in Tucson and Sonora, says he made a deal with prosecutors not to sue over his arrest and attempted prosecution. But he's critical of treatment he received at the hands of police during his arrest — he was unable to call his wife for 14 hours, he says — and of the prosecution that resulted in his children getting called names at school. He says police theories about a crime ring were "fantasy" and that his father merely made "bad decisions" by lending money to someone who misused it.

Asked if he ever went to CBNC, Mix says his father once took him there for an hour. Mix also had been to the car lot a couple of times, where he met Naz and, once, Upton. He says his father understood he was lending money for Exotic Auto Sales but that there was no money laundering going on — there was no reason for it.

The former director of operations for OmniCable (since taken over by Mexico's MegaCable), Mix hopes to move on with his life and start a microbrewery in Tucson.

When asked in 2011 to comment for this article, the AG's Office responded with an August 3 letter to Manriquez's attorney, in which Campagnolo wrote that the state won't file new charges against Manriquez, even though evidence was found that he put his in-laws on the books as employees at CBNC to give them a bogus employment history. This allowed them to sponsor a Mexican relative to enter the country.

But Manriquez isn't completely in the clear, prosecutors insist.

Campagnolo mentions that a defendant in the "crime ring" — Naz's personal bookkeeper, Nydia Zulema Morales — never has been found. If new evidence comes up, Manriquez still could be charged, prosecutors say.

Manriquez's defamation lawsuit against Phoenix and the state is wending its way through court. Yet major mysteries remain: Why did Manriquez give Naz $17 million over an eight-year period? Why did he not just use his wealth to invest legitimately in whatever he wanted? Steve Weiss, the Tucson attorney representing Manriquez in the defamation case, declined to comment on these questions.

Police never alleged that Manriquez's money was used to launder drug money or finance drug buys. However, one drug connection did exist: Ara Derboghossian, Naz's brother, told undercover cops in 2007 that he could help them transport hundreds of pounds of marijuana because his brother owned two car dealerships and had access to a warehouse and semi-trucks.

Ara was convicted last year on charges related to that sting and received a 31/2-year prison sentence.

Upton, now working two food-service jobs at upscale restaurants in Phoenix, and Allen, who found work at another dealership, each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor related to their false-record filings. They got probation. Peters will get the same deal when she's sentenced later this month. Together, they're supposed to pay back a $20,000 bill for the investigation.

Doug Allen would say on the record only that he is glad Manriquez and Mix "were cleared in this whole thing. I believe they were truly victims."

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38 comments
William_Miller
William_Miller

I always thought celebrity leisure time was a thing not really interesting to me. If they spend their money on charity or environment protection, that would attract me. But buying expensive toys is rotten and antisocial and rude!

William - http://www.carid.com/

pushkush
pushkush

Do your thing girl. I'm kind of envious of your adventure through this life, let em hate, stay up.

Mary
Mary

Interesting how the editor picks and chosses the comments and wants to keep or delete.. Enough said! 

Jodi
Jodi

I did not at anytime receive any money for this article... Really... it's comical how you people think... 

Bob
Bob

hmmm

someone who knows
someone who knows

.She then bought a house in Phoenix with money she had earned from the sale of a classic 1933 Ford her father had given her?? Im sure that was stolen too.. lol Are you Serious Ray?? YOUR SOURCE (JODI) IS NOT VERY CREDIBLE HERE.. I WOULD BE ASHAMED TO WRITE SUCH AN ARTICLE KNOWING THE PAST SHE AND HER FAMILY HAD.. NAZ DOESNT HAVE A PAST LIKE THAT!

someone who knows
someone who knows

JODI PROBABLY SLEPT WITH THE RAY TO GET HER LIES ON HERE.. WOULDNT SURPRISE ME..

someone who knows
someone who knows

again dumb fuck.. ol salty.. NAZ OBVIOUSLY DIDNT HAVE A CRIME IN MIAMI.. GET YOUR STORY RIGHT! DAMN YOU ARE WORST THAN RAY STERN WITH YOUR LIES!!

someone who knows
someone who knows

Hey dumb ass ol salty.. get your facts staright.. naz and Ara have been LEGALLY IN THE STATES FOR 45 EFFING YES YOU MORAN!! Dont you think if they were illeagal they would have been deported by now? Maybe they need to start deporting dumb asses like yourself that think they know it all!! bahahahahahaha...

mary
mary

hey mason.. you dnt know me so go eff yourself! Better yet.. go eff jodi.. lmfao!!

whocares3
whocares3

Well stay on it unochit!!!!!

fuku
fuku

Hahahahaha. Yet another joke

unochit
unochit

i'm on therapy because of this

mason
mason

marry you remind me of jodi...LMAO

fuk0
fuk0

Hahahahaha. U made a joke

Djpbone
Djpbone

It wasn't fun for my friend who got swindled along with the Boyce's and others. Trust that.

Lenni Rosenblum
Lenni Rosenblum

Another thrilling story by Ray Stern. Well done, Ray!

unochit
unochit

JODi. YOUR. JOKE!!!!! AND a WHORE oh and lets not forget A GOLD DIGGER and a FUCKED up MOTHER!!!!)!

raysternsajoke
raysternsajoke

honestly i thought this spread was about a man .. rupaul looking mofucker.. someone get this bitch off the cover!!!!!!!!! dam!

rapster
rapster

Ray Stern, you said her hubby, that is short for husband, is it not? Didn't you write , when "her child was 2 she decided to leave her hubby" You also wrote she was a victim, she obviously did not tell you all of the story, she sold part of her bar to young man for 100,000, got the money,and then kicked him out of the business and walked away from it and sold it again, for 1.00 and all of the hundreds of thousand of dollars of debt, she did not let it go for a fake kidney surgury, you should of talked to the young man that gave her that money. How do you sell a business, recieve the cash, and not own it? She ripped him off, and he had no recourse, and tried to get his money back, to no avail. You should have done your homework, instead of letting her scam you, like she has everyone else.

Ray Stern
Ray Stern

The article never said she was married, Rapster.

brody
brody

the middle eastern men are dirty

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

A fantasy that rich people don't always spend their money according to capitalist wetdreams? or that Stern couldn't be bothered to have learned in HIGH SCHOOL that in 1955, Armenia was a Soviet Republic and folks were getting free passes to be taken in as political refugees for pretty much any reason from those countries - especially if they provided a debriefing to the CIA when they arrived here? I would have liked to see if there were any criminal records of Naz' family in Armenia.

Curious
Curious

Your so right Tomato, but this reporter, did not do his homework at all, she lied about so many things, she never had a husband, that's public record, did he check out any of her story at all, or just write . To let her hurt so many people in this story without checking it out, is terrible,

rapster
rapster

This is a joke, I have known this woman, and a long time.Shame on the New Times not checking out all of her lies. She was NEVER been married in her life, the story talks about her violent husband, they were crack addicts, and he died in a car wreck, she then moved here and lived in her car. She is a money hungry bitter bitch. She has not seen her 10 year old child since the day school let out. She left him with his father for the whole summer as she always does, yet she talks about him that way, seriously if that were true, would you leave him there, and never even see him until school starts? She has stolen, lied, and embezeled for years, she went to the state and told all these lies with the other creep Doug, about Mario and Naz, thinking she would get something, she got nothing but arrested. While she was in jail she let her children sleep in a garage on a mattress with another crack head friend, instead of with their grandmother. She is evil, and whoever took the pictures did a great job of touch up, as she on a daily basis looks like an ugly transvestite, seriously! I hope Mario, all the stars, and everyone else she lied about sue the paper, and she ends up back in jail, it is inevitable, she is just like her criminal father. She never needed a kidney operation, that was a scam to get 49,000, and she got it, and said it went away, because she ate raw food, what a disgrace, She even admits in the article her old boyfriend when she was young bought her boobs, but she doesn't give his name, as she is afraid, because he was a drug dealer, hopefully the next one she scams, is for mental help, she surely needs it. Shame on her, and shame n the New Times!

cal0
cal0

You have no idea wat ur talking about number 1 number 2 Upton stoled from Naz and his family and doing this spread shows u wats she's all about MONEY!

Curious
Curious

who is this bitch trying to look like and portray herself to be? Marilyn Monroe.. pathetic. sounds like to me somebody got a little mad over rejection and needs some money huh?! I just dont understand how someone involved in such a "case" is now writing some story to gain attention.. or maybe not get in trouble so shes whipping up a storm about other people?! This whole article sounds like some destitute woman trying to either not get in trouble for some crime she did , or just get attention and money.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Interesting story. I kept asking myself where the dirty money was coming from..... It appears Ms. Upton has learned well from her father, however. Seems the apple didn't fall far from the tree in this case.

ray.stern
ray.stern moderator

 @Mary Mary -- some of the comments were randomly deleted after we switched over to the new commenting system. In fact, one of my own was deleted accidentally -- it mentioned a minor correction we made to the story, (Upton's former boyfriend in Massachusetts was erroneously called her "hubby" in one of the references to him.)

Jodi
Jodi

That's exactly how I bought my house... I sold the vehicle to mario... through the dealership and used the money as down payment on my home... the vehicle was not stolen... it was purchased in Massachusetts from a reputable dealer... ALL OF THIS IS PUBLIC RECORD!

Jodi
Jodi

hahahahahaha... teeeee hehehehe.... I tried... but Ray doesn't like transvestites...

Jodi
Jodi

Who was hurt in this story?... I realized that there have been many hurt in the course of this investigation... but this Story? really?... who... did I not read the same article?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

In which case you should simply write an addendum to the article and submit it to New Times for publication. That way you would get (1) credit for reporting the 'truth' as you see it, and (2) you will show Mr. Stern what a terrible reporter he is. We will be waiting on pins and needles..

Jodi
Jodi

WOW... you are quite the person... and my goodness how well you know me... truly... a few things that you might want to know before going on another rant... Nubar spends every summer with his grandmother and father... I have no issues with Naz, what so ever... this whole escapade brought us closer together and we rely on each other alot... the 49k... I never got (check your facts) and yes it did (my kidney issues) go away, until recently... you are obviously bitter at me for some reason... If i have wronged you, then I apologize that my actions have made you feel such anger and resentment... any one that knows me knows that I DO NOT ever do things to hurt people intentionally... At one time I did, to NAZ... but NEVER once did I go to the authorities, Doug did all of that.... As for a crack head... well Dwights father was no such thing, I on the other hand pulled myself out of that nasty little ordeal and went on to become who I am today 'an ugly transvestite'... ANOTHER point... the first person that my boys stayed with when I went away, is an amazing person for taking on 2 children that were not hers and she only had them a few weeks because NO ONE... NO ONE stepped up except for MY FRIENDS... Nubars grandmother was unable to care for the boys... they had no vehicle and no money... there is so much more to the story... I would love to meet for tea and chat, seriously... it seems that you have a one sided view of who I am... if not... I get it... it's easier to vent in a safe forum and share a convoluted story, Ray and I have spoken about the facts that he mixed up and he is willing to do all he can to revive the story on line... Take care and remember there is always more to a story.... Ray wrote this himself with information he received from EVERY source... not just me... Re read it....

William_Miller
William_Miller

@JodiAgree, there's always more to every story. Hidden meaning, between lines sense, you know..

William

 
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