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Investment advisor pleads guilty to stealing from clients in Minnesota and Wisconsin

3/1/2016 3:26:41 PM

For Immediate Release:

SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced that a Stillwater man has pleaded guilty to stealing from the clients of his investment advisory business.

Levi David Lindemann, 40, was indicted on December 22, 2015, for one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. He pleaded guilty today to the entire indictment against him before U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank in U.S. District Court. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau, Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to his guilty plea, between 2009 and 2014, Lindemann owned and operated Gershwin Financial, Inc., an investment management company that did business under the name, Alternative Wealth Solutions (AWS). Through AWS, Lindemann provided financial planning and asset management services, and sold insurance annuities and investment products to clients in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

According to his guilty plea, Lindemann used AWS to solicit investor funds from approximately 50 investor clients. He encouraged his clients to surrender their retirement accounts to him so he could invest funds on their behalf.

Lindemann persuaded clients to entrust him with their money by falsely representing that he would use the invested funds to buy secured notes or other legitimate investment vehicles. Instead of investing their money as promised, Lindemann used the funds to pay personal expenses, convert the investments to cash for his own use, purchase an Infiniti QX56 sport utility vehicle and make Ponzi-type payments of promised returns to other investors.

According to his guilty plea, Lindemann took steps to conceal his fraudulent activity and lull his clients by creating counterfeit secured notes and providing them to investor clients as proof of their investment.

Commerce is here to help

If you have questions or concerns about a potential fraud or scam, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-857-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

Media Contact:
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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