Firm deceived investors, new filing alleges
Valley Investments and its owner committed securities fraud in their offers to investors, the Colorado Division of Securities said in a new court filing.
In its continuing investigation, the securities division said it uncovered evidence that Valley owner Philip Rand Lochmiller and his son, also Philip R. Lochmiller, told potential investors that licensed appraisers had appraised properties that in fact had not been appraised, according to court papers.
The Lochmillers also failed to tell investors of the elder Lochmiller’s history of securities fraud in California or that money invested with the company would be used for the Lochmillers’ personal expenses or for operating expenses at Valley Investments.
The elder Lochmiller’s attorney has said the company was the victim of the bad economy, but he could not be reached for comment about the new allegations.
The securities division cited the experience of several investors, identified only by initials, who said they weren’t told about how their money would be used or about the criminal background of Lochmiller Sr.
Two of the investors, identified as JU and AU, invested $100,000 in 2005 on the promise of a 12 percent return and were told they owned five lots in Country Living Park in Mack.
At least six investors are listed as holding deeds of trust on at least three of those properties that JU and AU believed they owned. One of the lots has liens totaling nearly $368,0000 and is valued at $35,000 by the Mesa County Assessor’s Office, the filing says.
“Even if the defendants were able to sell the lot for a purchase price above the assessed value, the liens totaling over 10 times the value could not be paid back,” the filing says. “To date investors JU and AU have lost $100,000.”
Other investors related similar experiences with both Lochmillers, and the filing says that more than 300 investors have invested approximately $30 million with the defendants.
A motion by the receiver for Valley Investments, 1445 N. Seventh St., for control of the personal assets of the Lochmillers and others associated with the company, is pending before the court that closed down Valley Investments in May.
The securities division is seeking to amend the original complaint against Valley Investments and Lochmillers to include the fraud allegations.
The FBI also is investigating Valley Investments and its ownership, and the securities division investigation is continuing.