Lochmiller trial delay upsets one former investor
A trial for the failed Valley Investments owner will be in July instead of this month, a federal judge ruled.
Philip Rand Lochmiller’s trial on conspiracy, money-laundering and fraud charges had been scheduled to begin Feb. 28, but was set back when his defense team sought a delay, saying that it had been unable to open accounts on computers that were seized when Valley Investments was shuttered by state regulators in 2009.
U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer delayed the trial after a hearing in Denver on Monday.
“You have got to be kidding,” said one investor, Carolyn White.
Prosecutors had opposed a delay in the trial, citing the age of many of the more than 400 investors who lost about $30 million with the collapse of the company.
To put off the trial “for even several months is a pretty drastic thing,” White said. “None of us are young; time is of the essence.”
It now seems that the defendants are being treated as though they are victims instead of the investors who lost money, White said.
Sentencing hearings are scheduled in April in Grand Junction for Lochmiller’s two co-defendants, his stepson, Philip Rand Lochmiller II, and former executive assistant Shawnee Carver. Carver is required by the terms of her plea agreement to testify against her former boss.
Prosecutors expect defense attorneys for the younger Lochmiller and Carver to request delays in their sentencing hearings, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney John Walsh said.