Lochmiller’s trial date delayed to February
The trial of the owner of failed Valley Investments has been pushed to February from a planned December start.
Philip Rand Lochmiller’s trial on multiple counts of securities and mail fraud was set to begin Dec. 27, but was reset to Feb. 18.
The date was changed for personal reasons related to an attorney in the case, Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, said Thursday.
The prosecution is seeking to have District Judge Philip A. Brimmer conduct the trial in Grand Junction.
Meanwhile, Lochmiller’s son, Philip Rand Lochmiller Jr., is set to enter a guilty plea in a hearing before Brimmer today. The younger Lochmiller faces as many as 15 years in prison. A sentencing date will be set by Brimmer.
Both Lochmillers and an employee of the business, Shawnee Carver, were charged in connection with the collapse of the Valley Investments in 2009.
Investigators said the business was operated as a Ponzi scheme in which investors were promised high returns. Those returns, however, were funded by the investment proceeds from new investors.
In the case of Valley Investments, investors were told their investments were being used to develop affordable-housing projects in Colorado, Idaho and Utah. Investors were provided with deeds of trust to properties, but in many cases, dozens or more deeds were issued for the same properties, court papers say.
The Lochmillers used investor funds to pay their own expenses unrelated to the business, prosecutors have said.
The elder Lochmiller has a securities-fraud record in California, but he told none of his clients about his criminal background, according to court documents.