Lochmiller seeks more prep time before trial

The owner of failed Valley Investments in Grand Junction pleaded not guilty to 33 charges Tuesday in a case that is set for trial later this month in Denver.

Philip Rand Lochmiller, however, is asking that his trial in federal court be delayed because of difficulty his legal team had in accessing the company books after they had been seized by investigators.

Lochmiller is the only remaining defendant in the case. His stepson, Philip Rand Lochmiller II, and executive assistant, Shawnee Carver, accepted plea agreements and are to be sentenced in April. Carver’s plea agreement requires that she testify against her former boss.

The elder Lochmiller appeared alone before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gudrun Rice for arraignment on a superseding indictment, which was drafted to correct errors in the original indictment. His attorney, Daniel Smith, entered Lochmiller’s pleas, not guilty to each charge, via telephone from Denver.

The charges include two counts of conspiracy, 21 of money laundering and seven of mail fraud.

Lochmiller’s trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 28 and continue for as many as five weeks.

His attorney, however, filed papers with the federal court in Denver asking that the trial be delayed or that no evidence relating to Valley Investments’ QuickBooks accounts be allowed during the trial.

Prosecutors have had “unfettered access to the company’s accounting records for some 20 months,” Lochmiller’s attorneys said in their motion. “The defendant has had no access to his own accounting records for that same 20-month period.”

Allowing prosecutors to proceed “with its one-sided editorialization of its reading of the company records is unfair and will clearly materially prejudice” Lochmiller at trial, the motion said.

No date was scheduled for U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer to rule on the motion, which was filed Monday.

Lochmiller pleaded guilty to securities fraud in California before he opened the business in Grand Junction. Authorities allege he never told investors about his criminal background.


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