Arraignment postponed for suspect in fraud case

Just over two weeks after his arrest, the former head of Valley Investments is still without an attorney.

Philip Lochmiller, 61, was ordered Monday to return to court on Thursday, by which time he may have a court-appointed attorney willing to take his case.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Gudrun Rice said she’ll ask for the appointment of a Denver-based attorney, after local attorney Stephen Laiche on Monday said he couldn’t commit to represent Lochmiller.

Laiche’s departure from the case comes on the heels of local attorney Marna Lake’s decision last week to withdraw, saying she was unable to commit to a possible monthlong trial in Denver. Shortly after Lochmiller’s arrest on Dec. 16, federal public defenders said they could not represent him because of a conflict of interest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer said she still intends to file a motion seeking to keep the trial in Grand Junction.

Lochmiller and his son, Philip Lochmiller Jr., 38, and a Valley Investments employee, Shawnee Carver, 33, are accused of defrauding roughly 400 investors out of $31 million.

They are free on personal-recognizance bonds.


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