Sale of Valley Investments’ assets proceeding under bankruptcy rules

More than 400 creditors of failed Valley Investments will begin the bankruptcy process Wednesday with at least one bit of welcome news.

The receivership appointed a year ago to take over the firm is completing work studying a full-price offer for Valley Investments’ Meadows Mobile Home Park in La Junta, attorney Kirk Rider said.

Rider’s Grand Junction law firm, Rider & Quesenberry, was appointed receiver of Valley Investments by a state judge in Denver.

The first creditors meeting under a bankruptcy trustee will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Grand Junction City Hall Auditorium.

Investors and other creditors have at least $30 million in claims before the bankruptcy court, according to the receivership website,

Investors who filled out papers detailing their investments both for the receivership and the FBI, which investigated the collapse of the company, will have to file new claim forms with the bankruptcy court and no submission deadline for those forms has been set, Rider said.

Exactly how the meeting will transpire is unclear, Rider said.

Creditors meeting are “normally pretty perfunctory, cut-and-dried, things, but this one isn’t typical,” Rider said.

Rider said he opted to pursue dissolution of Valley Investments, which maintained an office at 1445 N. Seventh St., via bankruptcy instead of state courts so that asset liquidation would be speeded up.

Motions are pending before the court for the approval of some property sales, and other motions are being prepared or are before the court to approve some listings of property, Rider said.

The receivership, meanwhile, still is trying to gain possession of a condominium unit in Mexico, which it has been working to obtain almost since Valley Investments collapsed.

In all, more than 400 investors invested more than $31 million in Valley Investments before its collapse.

The amount of money at issue in the bankruptcy includes investors’ money as well as payments sought by others who provided goods or services to the firm but weren’t paid.

Valley Investments owner Philip Rand Lochmiller and two other people — his son, also Philip Rand Lochmiller, and employee Shawnee Carver — face several counts of securities and mail fraud in federal court. Prosecutor Michelle Heldmyer is seeking to have the trial conducted in Grand Junction, rather than in Denver.

The elder Lochmiller pleaded guilty to securities fraud in California and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Colorado regulators said Lochmiller never informed investors of his criminal background.


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