DENVER (AP) – Two people have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a Colorado real estate investment scheme that prosecutors say defrauded more than 400 people of at least $30 million.

Philip R. Lochmiller Jr. was sentenced to eight years in prison for money laundering and conspiracy to commit securities and mail fraud, the U.S. attorney’s office said Tuesday.

Shawnee Carver was sentenced to serve two years for conspiracy to commit securities fraud and mail fraud.

They were indicted a year ago and both pleaded guilty. Both must also serve three years of supervised release after their prison terms.

Lochmiller’s stepfather, Philip R. Lochmiller Sr., was found guilty in July of mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy stemming from the same scheme. His sentencing date hasn’t be set.

Also pending is a hearing to determine how much restitution the defendants must pay.

Investors were promised returns of up to 18 percent on real estate developments by the Lochmillers’ company, Valley Investments, but the total amount invested exceeded the company’s assets, prosecutors said.

The investors’ money was used for interest and principal payments to other investors and for personal expenses, prosecutors said.

Carver was the younger Lochmiller’s personal assistant. She was accused of misrepresenting the company’s assets and telling investors the business was doing well although she knew it was not.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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