Feds ask investment clients to call
The FBI has set up an investors’ hot line for clients of Valley Investment, 1445 N. Seventh St., a Grand Junction company that has advertised guaranteed returns of up to 10 percent on investments.
The hot line number is 303-575-7012.
Federal officials said they couldn’t elaborate further about Valley Investments, which was closed Thursday afternoon.
The parking lot was empty, and a note left by UPS, which had tried to make a morning
delivery, was untouched on the glass front door. A sign on the door suggested the office would reopen at 9 a.m. today.
Trash cans in the back of the building were empty except for several scraps of shredded paper.
Telephone calls to the company, owned by Phil Lockmiller Sr. and his son, went unanswered.
A person who had invested money based on Valley’s advertisements said he was unaware of any problems with the company.
“They’ve done everything they said they would do,” said the investor, who asked not to be identified.
Valley sold investments based on property in Utah and Colorado, and sources said the company was being investigated by state regulators as well as federal law enforcement.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver said it could offer no comment, and calls to the state Division of Securities weren’t immediately returned Thursday.
Phil Lockmiller had gained preliminary approval in Vernal, Utah, for a housing development, officials in the Uinta County Planning Department said.
John Wood, an engineer who was representing Lockmiller before local officials, said he had run into difficulty dealing with Lockmiller, whom he knew as a Grand Junction businessman.
“I’ve been trying to collect money from him for weeks,” Wood said.
Wood said he spoke briefly with Lockmiller on Wednesday, only to hear Lockmiller tell him he was too busy to speak with him.