John T. Griffith 5:14 p.m., May 22
Once-Imprisoned Philip Lochmiller in Trouble Again
On Sept. 20 of 1985, Philip Lochmiller of North County's by-then-bankrupt Lochmiller Mortgage was sentenced to three years in state prison on securities charges. His brother, Stephen Lochmiller, and mother, Joe Alice Lochmiller, had already been sentenced on similar charges. Their company had taken money from many elderly investors, sometimes promising an annual return of up to 24%. The money was invested in real estate; the scheme fell apart. The investors often got nothing.
Now Philip Lochmiller is in trouble again for a similar caper, as recorded at length this weekend in the Grand Junction, Colorado, Daily Sentinel. The Denver District Court recently ordered that Grand Junction's Valley Investments (formerly Valley Mortgage) be closed. It was run by Philip Lochmiller. "The FBI and state regulators are investigating the firm, but no criminal charges have been filed," says the newspaper. Philip Lochmiller's lawyer was quoted saying that his client's criminal history in California "was a long time ago." The Colorado Securities Commissioner says that Valley did not tell investors about Philip Lochmiller's criminal past. The court-appointed receiver for Valley estimates that investors have lost $20 million or more in the company's collapse, according to the newspaper. Valley ran ads in Colorado newspapers, touting 14% annual returns. As in California, elderly investors took the bait.
The Sentinel says that Philip Lochmiller's house is chained and locked. The paper hasn't been able to locate him.