An Antelope Valley woman was arrested Monday on a 39-count federal grand jury indictment alleging she obtained more than $13.5 million from more than 1,000 investors for her for-women beverage company, officials stated.
The lion’s share of which she spent at casinos, on luxury items and cars, and renting a house, according to authorities.
Lupe Louise Rose, 54, of Palmdale, surrendered to federal authorities on Monday. She is charged with 38 counts of securities fraud and one count of making false statements to federal investigators.
Rose pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in federal court in downtown Los Angeles,, and a March 19 trial was scheduled. A federal magistrate judge today ordered Rose to be released on a $20,000 bond.
According to the indictment returned on January 18 and unsealed today, Rose founded She Beverage Co. Inc., a Lancaster-based beverage manufacturer, in 2009.
Rose was the company’s president, CEO, and chairman of its board of directors. Rose promoted She Beverage as a woman-owned beverage manufacturer that marketed and sold beer, wine, bottled water, and other products purportedly designed specifically to cater to women’s needs.
From 2017 to December 2020, Rose raised investments in She Beverage to more than $13.5 million from more than 1,000 investors nationwide.
Specifically, she caused the company to offer and sell its shares through an offering memorandum, offering shares in the company for $2.50 per share. Rose also hosted in-person meetings for current and prospective investors, some of which were livestreamed to out-of-town investors.
Even though Rose marketed She Beverage as a successful company, she allegedly used the vast majority of the $13.5 million she raised from investors to enrich herself, her family, and her friends.
According to the indictment, she also used victim investor money to “purchase” shell companies to give the false appearance that She Beverage was expanding.
Contrary to Rose’s written promises to spend 30% of the money raised from investors on inventory, she allegedly spent only 2.5% of investors’ money on inventory from 2015 to 2021.
From 2016 to 2021, the indictment alleges that Rose caused $6 million of victim investor funds raised in the company offerings to be used for the benefit of herself and her friends.
Rose allegedly failed to inform investors that she spent more than $1 million of company funds at casinos and used company money to purchase cars and trucks for family and friends.
She allegedly also used company money to pay for a lease on a house she rented and to purchase luxury clothing from retailers such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Rose allegedly lied to investors by stating in 2018 that her company had “generated approximately $4-5 million in revenue” when, in fact, that year, She Beverage had sold less than $263,000 in merchandise.
She allegedly also made false statements to investors that She Beverage sold United States Food and Drug Administration-approved bottled water made with a proprietary formula that cured cancer.
Rose made other alleged false claims about her prior business experience, including that she had developed McDonald’s Bagel Sandwich and the creation of Versace’s “Tribute” clothing line.
Other false statements included that there were nine-figure offers from other companies to purchase She Beverage and about Rose’s educational background, including that she received “professional certificates in the field of medicine, journalism broadcasting, education, and company branding,” according to the indictment.
Rose allegedly made false statements to investors and investigators with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
If convicted of all charges, Rose would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each securities fraud count and up to five years in federal prison for the false statements count. She is presumed innocent unless proven guilty, officials stated.
In September 2021, the SEC sued Rose for allegedly fraudulently raising millions of dollars from She Beverage investors throughout the United States.
On January 16, U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder imposed a judgment finding Rose, She Beverage Co. Inc., and two others jointly and severally liable for disgorgement of $12 million representing net profits from the fraud, as well as $738,774 in pre-judgment interest.
The FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation are investigating this matter.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff P. Mitchell of the Major Frauds Section is prosecuting this case.