Thornburg "Misappropriation"? Last week, Reuters reported that the federal Justice Department official overseeing the bankruptcy, as well as the company's creditors, are examining "potential misappropriation" of assets by Thornburg Mortgage executives related to their new venture, SAF Financial Inc. Court filings say the new company was founded by Thornburg Mortgage CEO Larry Goldstone and CFO Clarence Simmons. Sources tell SFR Goldstone and several other former Thornburg Mortgage employees left the company last week, and an emergency board meeting has been scheduled for this week.

In July, SFR reported how high-ups at Thornburg Mortgage had begun quietly planning for a new venture as their company entered bankruptcy.

Creditors' co-counsel Alan Grochal tells SFR the investigation into the new company is a "detour" from the bankruptcy proceedings, but could have serious consequences. "I've seen these things where it turns out to be much ado about nothing. I've seen others where there was a whole other scam," Grochal says. "If it is established that corporate assets were being used and expended for a purpose that had nothing to do with helping the debtor company operate, there could be some criminal repercussions." An email to Suzanne O'Leary Lopez, former spokeswoman for Thornburg Mortgage, was referred to Kerri Segell, who would not comment.

No Heroin, At Least: As initially reported on, last week, Santa Fe New Mexican Circulation Director Mike Reichard called police to report a theft. The trouble began on Aug. 11 when one of the paper's delivery drivers was involved in a "rollover crash" in a company vehicle, according to a Sept. 11 Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office report. The employee, who wasn't supposed to use the vehicle while off the clock, was fired that same day. He told supervisors his company ID and gas cards "were lost somewhere in the vehicle." Reichard apparently went to the tow yard to check, but couldn't find the cards. Over the coming weeks, the report says, the New Mexican gas card was used 10 times to purchase 235 gallons of gas. Police did not name the suspect.

Gawking Outsiders: Both The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times sent reporters to Zozobra this year. The WSJ story featured SFR Editor and "guardian of gloom" Julia Goldberg who confirmed that she never peeks inside the gloom box. "'It's some sort of gloom code of ethics,'" she told WSJ.

The spectacle confused some WSJ readers. "Leave it to Californians to regress to secular/pagan rituals and self-invented worship styles. Next they will be tugging golden calves through the streets of San Francisco with half-naked homosexuals gyrating in tow," one commenter wrote, prompting others to point out that Santa Fe is in New Mexico.