Feds take investment info

FBI wants to know more about former Valley Investments employee

The FBI is seeking information from investors about an employee of failed Valley Investments of Grand Junction as it pulls together information from hundreds of investors of the company.

A Denver judge, meanwhile, signed a temporary restraining order Thursday, preventing the owners of Valley, Philip Rand Lochmiller and his son, also Philip Lochmiller, from disposing of any assets of the company.

The order extends the reach of the receivership the court last month put in charge of the business and caps the amount of money the Lochmillers can be paid at $7,000 a month each.

It also orders the Lochmillers to turn over to the receivership two vintage vehicles, a 1955 Chevrolet and a 1954 GMC fire truck.

A Denver attorney representing Lochmiller did not return messages Thursday seeking comment. Attorney Cliff Stricklin said previously in a letter to The Daily Sentinel that Lochmiller was working with the receiver to preserve value for the investors.

The receiver, Grand Junction attorney Kirk Rider, has described Valley as appearing to be a Ponzi scheme that took in about $30 million from about 200 investors.

The senior Lochmiller has served a prison term in California for securities fraud.

Many of the investors have received questionnaires from the FBI, which is investigating the business. The questionnaire asks investors to describe their contacts with both Lochmillers and an employee of the business, Shawnee Carver.

Carver could not be contacted and a voice-mail box at what is presumed to be her residence was full and would not accept messages Thursday.

The questionnaire asks investors how much they invested with Valley Investments, whether they received information via the U.S. mail, and the nature of their investments.

Those who purchased land with their investment were asked whether they had been provided recorded deeds of trust.

“Did anyone explain the risk(s) associated with the investment?” one question asks. “If so, describe all the risks the person identified and any way they intended to minimize the risk.”

The FBI also asks investors whether they were made aware of Lochmiller Sr.’s criminal background and whether knowledge of it would have discouraged them from investing.

In another question, investors are asked whether their business ever required a notarized signature and, if so, to describe how the notarized signature was obtained.

Investors are asked to answer 25 questions, several with multiple parts.

The FBI is still seeking to contact investors via a hotline at 303-575-7012.


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