BOWLED OVER? DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl executive director Jeff Siembieda, left, and vice president of ESPN Events Clint Overby, right, were all smiles with DreamHouse CEO Eric Martinez at a news conference on Oct 1. Much has changed. Multiple people have told Enchantment Sports that Martinez is a “con man” and all three have gone silent about the deal (Photo from Facebook).
Today: Enchantment Sports begins a multi-story series on Eric Martinez, CEO of DreamHouse and the new title sponsor of the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl. Martinez is a shameless self-promoter who bills himself as a millionaire and one of the top actors, entertainers and directors in New Mexico. Countless others allege he is the top con-artist in New Mexico, and the ESPN Events-owned bowl game is his latest victim.
© Copyright Enchantment Sports/Tick Talk Media Productions, LLC
By Mark Smith
Editor in Chief
One of the biggest concerns for the New Mexico Bowl each year is the possibility of cold, or even snow, for its mid-to-late December game.
This year, snow could already be falling on the bowl game.
“Oh my God, that dude is a scam artist,” Bernalillo County Commissioner and actor Steven Michael Quezada said of the CEO of New Mexico Bowl’s new title sponsor, DreamHouse. “He’s a huge scam artist, man! The guy’s delusional. Something is really wrong with this guy.”
The “guy” to whom Quezada refers is Eric Martinez — the new face of the DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl.
According to a New Mexico Bowl news release, “DreamHouse is a multi-entity focused on the film industry. Its 25,000 square foot post production studio and its growing Production company is focused on the growth of entertainment in Albuquerque, NM” (sic).
Ian Stewart, a well-known local film editor, is listed as the general manager of DreamHouse. Multiple people interviewed for this series said that Stewart is also the son-in-law of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
On Friday night, the governor, through a spokesman, told Enchantment Sports that Stewart is not affiliated with DreamHouse.
“Ian Stewart is not this Martinez’s partner or business collaborator or what have you. Ian doesn’t work for the company or have any connection to it or Martinez,” said Tripp Stelnicki, director of communications for the governor. “Martinez mentioned the idea a while back to Ian as something he was working on, but Ian never agreed to contribute to the company or be part of it. So while they do know each other, calling them business ‘partners’ here doesn’t reflect Ian’s lack of involvement with the company at all.”
Here is the link to DreamHouse, which as of the evening of Oct. 11, has published the biographies of both Martinez and Stewart, as CEO and general manager, respectively.
Martinez did not follow through Wednesday for a scheduled interview with Enchantment Sports made five days earlier, nor did he or his two publicists respond to repeated requests to confirm the interview.
Enchantment Sports spoke to Martinez last Saturday to set up the interview and obtain background information.
All of the allegations in this story were emailed to Martinez in the late afternoon on Friday.
On Friday night, more allegations and questions were sent to Martinez requesting a response as soon as possible.
He had not responded as of late Friday night.
Martinez has dozens of fliers and ads — this one taken from a Martinez social media post — that people say he Photoshopped.
DreamHouse, according to its website, was started in 2018 by Martinez.
The DreamHouse website said the studio would open in the spring of 2019 in the beautiful Aperture Center at Mesa del Sol in Albuquerque.
As of this month, it has yet to break ground. Many who have had business dealings with Martinez question if it ever will.
“When he’s involved, you know there’s something wrong,” said Catherine Trujillo, who said she was Martinez’s girlfriend and pressured to support him financially from 2014-2016. “When it goes wrong, it’s always somebody else’s fault.”
Enchantment Sports started investigating Martinez and accusations against him after DreamHouse was announced as the bowl game’s title sponsor on Oct. 1 at a news conference outside of the Aperture Center.
The game is owned by ESPN Events and is slated for Dec. 21 in Albuquerque.
“This is a tremendous day for New Mexico and our event, but also for the state’s thriving film industry and overall economy,” Jeff Siembieda, executive director of the bowl, said in a news release.
Clint Overby, vice president of ESPN events, said “We are honored to be working with DreamHouse to promote the bowl as well as the growing film industry within the state of New Mexico.”
As of Friday night, Siembieda and Overby had yet to respond to Enchantment Sports’ questions about allegations against Martinez.
“I wish the bowl game luck, and I wish DreamHouse success,” said film maker Mando Hernandez, who said he worked projects for Martinez three times but was only paid for one.
“But all I know, is that if you’re involved with Eric Martinez, the guy is going to (screw) someone over. I don’t know how, I don’t know when. But rest assured, the guy’s gonna (screw) someone over. This time, it sounds like it’s the New Mexico Bowl.”
Siembieda said the deal for the sponsorship is for four years, but refused to release the financial details.
Trujillo said Martinez “scammed” her out of $60,000, and she is disgusted his name is associated with a national bowl game.
NOTE: On Oct. 4, Enchantment Sports asked Trujillo if she or her family were wealthy, or how did Martinez cost her $60,000? On Oct. 4, Trujillo said she received a large settlement from a car accident, and Martinez had planned to use all of it — although she didn’t say how much the claim was worth.
On Oct. 31, she texted to say Martinez didn’t actually take the money from the claim, but planned to. Again she didn’t say how much the claim was worth. When asked again how Martinez allegedly cost her $60,000, she said “financial abuse.”
When asked what she meant by “financial abuse,” and if she specifically could list a few things that could lead to costing her $60,000, Trujillo responded, “if you don’t believe me, that’s OK. … As I stated earlier, I’m done answering questions about the story.”
“(The New Mexico Bowl) is an event New Mexico takes pride in,” Trujillo said. “This should be a focus for us and our state and our opportunities. It’s not for (Martinez) to be in the limelight, like he’s always trying to be. Honestly, I don’t how the decision came about, but I can tell you there is so much wrong with putting Eric in charge of making a business deal.”
It’s important to note that DreamHouse has nothing to do with Dreamstyle Remodeling, the mega-successful regional giant owned by Albuquerque native Larry Chavez.
Dreamstyle has the naming rights for Dreamstyle Arena; aka The Pit and Dreamstyle Stadium.
Chavez said he had “never heard of (Martinez ) until I saw the him in the (Albuquerque) Journal last week as (N.M. Bowl) title sponsor. He’s not affiliated with us.”
The DreamHouse New Mexico Bowl is scheduled to be played at Dreamstyle Stadium.
“Purely coincidence,” Siembieda said with a grin at last week’s news conference when asked if there were any ties between Dreamstyle and DreamHouse. “It is the bowl game of your dreams.”
Will it soon become Siembieda’s nightmare?
“Eric Martinez is a con man. I can’t believe he fooled the New Mexico Bowl,” said Andy Rivera, a longtime Albuquerque boxing journalist and boxer who is a contributor to Enchantment Sports who has known Martinez since the 1980s. “He is a bad guy and a complete liar.
“I heard Jeff Siembieda talking all day on the radio about how great this was. When he said the name Eric Martinez, I was shocked. I said, ‘I pray that is not the same Eric Martinez!’
“I checked the New Mexico Bowl website when I got home, and couldn’t believe it. It was the same con artist.”
Martinez, like Quezada notes, bills himself as an actor, director, producer and film maker.
But if you haven’t heard of Martinez, you obviously have never met him.
Numerous people contacted for this story said he is a relentless self promoter who lies about nearly everything he says he does.
“He’s gone from claiming he’s an Olympic boxer to a music manager, to the number one Latino actor in the country, to owning a magazine, to being a producer, to a director, to a filmmaker,” said Quezada, one of the state’s top actors who had a recurring role in “Breaking Bad” and won an award from the Screen Actors Guild.
“He needs to be stopped. He takes advantage and money from everyone he’s around.
“Thank God someone is finally doing a story about him.”
Enchantment Sports, however, isn’t the first.
More than two decades ago, Martinez was exposed as a “con artist” in a different walk of life in the Albuquerque Journal.
Enchantment Sports will have details this weekend as its series continues.
(See Part 2 of our series about Eric Martinez here.)
UP NEXT: Local fighters allege that Eric Martinez tried to scam them by claiming he was an Olympic contender, and told others he was an undefeated Golden Gloves champion.
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. He is the editor in chief of Enchantment Sports. Contact him at mark.enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.