Levi D. Lindemann, 40, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in St. Paul to mail fraud and money laundering in a scheme that spanned five years. Lindemann remains free on $25,000 unsecured bond ahead of sentencing.

Of the roughly $4.3 million in investor money that he handled, Lindemann skimmed nearly $2.6 million for himself, according to a federal indictment.

Lindemann, whose firm operated as Alternative Wealth Solutions, solicited money for investment from approximately 50 clients in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Instead of investing the money legitimately, Lindemann covered his own personal expenses and in 2010 paid nearly $60,000 for an Infiniti QX56 SUV, the indictment said. He also used some of the money to cover promised returns to other investors, a tactic known as a Ponzi scheme.

Lindemann also admitted that he duped his clients by creating counterfeit secured notes and presenting them as proof of investment.

Paul Engh, Lindemann's attorney, said his client "lives with deep regret and is hopeful for a merciful result."

Paul Walsh