SEC Alleges that Levi Lindemann Engaged in a Ponzi Scheme

shutterstock_69882820The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against former FINRA registered broker Levi Lindemann (Lindemann) alleging that from about September 2009, to August 2013, Lindemann, a resident of Minnesota, fraudulently raised at least $976,000 from six investors located in Wisconsin including elderly individuals and a member of his own family among other allegations.

Previously, Lindemann was a FINRA registered broker with several brokerage firms beginning in 2001. From March 2008 until October 2009, Lindemann was associated with United Equity Securities, LLC. Then, from October 2009 until November 2010, Lindemann was a broker for Workman Securities Corporation. Thereafter, from November 2010 until March 2012, Lindemann was associated with J.P. Turner & Company, L.L.C. (JP Turner).

According to the SEC’s complaint Lindemann told investors that their money would be used to purchase a variety investments, including 1) secured notes in Home Path Financial LP (Home Path), a Wisconsin-based real estate investment company; 2) notes issued by GWG Life, LLC (GWG Life); and 3) interests in a unit investment trust through Lindemann’s sole proprietorship, Alternative Wealth Solutions (AWS). The SEC alleged that none of these investments were ever made.

According to the SEC, Home Path Financial LP is a real estate investment company incorporated in Wisconsin. Home Path’s business involves the purchasing of distressed properties and then later selling those properties for a profit. The SEC alleged that Lindemann fraudulently represented to investors that he was a broker raising funds on behalf of Home Path in connection with a secured note offering. According to the SEC, Lindemann never invested the solicited funds in Home Path.

The SEC alleged that GWG Life, LLC is a Delaware operating out of Minneapolis, Minnesota that offers services in the secondary market for life insurance. The SEC alleged that from mid-2009 through mid-June 2011, GWG offered investment products called LifeNotes that were secured by the assets of GWG Life in the form of life insurance policies. The SEC alleged that Lindemann fraudulently represented to at least one investor that he would use the investor’s funds to purchase LifeNotes and instead misappropriated the money.

According to the SEC, Home Path and GWG Life never received any funds from Lindemann’s investors, nor did they ever issue any notes to Lindemann’s investors and instead Lindemann deposited the investor’s money in various accounts he controlled. The SEC then alleged that Lindemann spent the funds on himself, his other business ventures, and made Ponzi-like payments to investors to perpetuate his fraud.

The SEC alleged that to prolong this scheme, Lindemann provided the AWS investors with fabricated account statements documenting the Ponzi-like payments. On those statements Lindemann allegedly fraudulently represented that AWS was a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a corporation that guarantees the return of missing customer property up to a certain amount. The SEC also alleged that Lindemann represented that customer assets in the AWS accounts were protected by SIPC up to $500,000, including $250,000 for cash claims.

In addition to the $976,000, the SEC alleged Lindemann has raised an additional $3.3 million from individuals for various other ventures as recently as August 2014. The SEC has stated that its investigation is continuing regarding these funds and other matters.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of investment fraud. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.