Stillwater Investment Adviser Charged With $2.5M Theft From Clients
A Stillwater investment advisor was indicted on Tuesday for stealing more than $2.5 million from 50 clients, many of whom were elderly individuals or retirement savers.
Levi David Lindemann, 39, is charged with one count each of mail fraud and money laundering.
According to documents filed in court, between 2009 and November 2014, Lindemann owned and operated Edina-based investment management company Gershwin Financial Inc., which did business under the name Alternative Wealth Solutions (AWS). Lindemann allegedly used AWS to solicit $4.3 million from 50 investor clients throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Court filings indicate Lindeman “encouraged his clients to surrender to him their retirement accounts” so he could use the funds to buy secured notes or make other legitimate investments.
Instead, Lindemann allegedly used over $2.5 million in investor funds to pay “personal expenses” and “make Ponzi-type payments of promised returns to other investors.”
As stated in the court filing, Lindemann attempted to conceal his fraudulent activity by creating counterfeit secured notes and presenting them to his clients as proof of their investment. Additionally, Lindemann allegedly used some of the diverted funds to make monthly payments to clients, which were intended to appear as monthly payments accrued from legitimate investments.
“As charged, Mr. Lindemann abused [investor] trust in order to steal his clients’ money and enrich himself at their expense,” assistant U.S. attorney Joseph Thompson said in a statement. “After receiving a tip from one of Mr. Lindemann’s victims, agents from the IRS, FBI and Minnesota Department of Commerce worked together to ensure that he will be held to account for his actions.”
Lindemann’s initial appearance at U.S. District Court in St. Paul has not yet been scheduled.