She Beverage Co. ‘Scammed Investors for Casino Binges’ – Court

Posted on: February 19, 2024, 06:32h. 

Last updated on: February 20, 2024, 12:25h.

A California-based beverage company that marketed drinks for women has been ordered to pay $14 million in penalties. That’s for allegedly scamming investors and spending the proceeds on casino binges and other luxury items.

She Beverage Co., Lupe Rose, Sonja Shelby, Katherine Dirden
Lupe Rose, above, claimed to be a one-woman “movement” in an ill-advised YouTube response to the SEC filing. She has been given 30 days to repay $14 million, along with the two cofounders of She Beverage. (Image: Lupe Rose/She Beverage Co.)

The She Beverage Co. describes itself on its Instagram page as a “celebrity-driven beverage company that sells several products.” But the page mysteriously lacks any celebrity endorsers.

Last week, its three owners, Lupe L. Rose, 54, and Sonja F. Shelby, 60, of Palmdale, Calif. and Katherine Dirden, 48, of Lancaster, Calif., were given 30 days to repay the full amount by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

$1.2M Gambled 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint against the three women in September 2021. The regulator claimed that between 2017 and 2019, She Beverage raised more than $15 million from over 2,000 investors.

She Beverage “falsely represented” that 30% of funding would go to the purchase of beverages, according to the SEC filing. In reality, the women spent roughly 2% on stock while they splurged at least $7.5 million on “cars and trucks, rent, luxury retail goods, and trips to casinos,” the complaint claimed.

Breaking some of that down, around $1.2 million was spent in casinos, while a further $180K went on eight cars and trucks for personal use. The defendants spent $100K on lease payments on a house and $50K for luxury goods, such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton bags.

They falsely told investors they had personally plowed millions of dollars into the venture, which had helped She Beverage build a brewery, according to the SEC filing. In fact, the facility was only partially complete. They also claimed their bottled water was “proprietary” and “FDA-approved” when it was not, according to the SEC.

The defendants further “overstated and mischaracterized” the nature of the business by claiming third parties were interested in acquiring the company for hundreds of millions of dollars, whereas there were no such offers.

YouTube Response

In a bizarre YouTube video response to the SEC filing, Lupe Rose described herself as “a champion for women’s progress under attack.”

“Lupe Rose is not just a name; she’s a movement, an inspiration, a fearless leader who has dedicated her life to breaking the glass ceiling for women in sports, entertainment, and entrepreneurship,” Rose claimed in her video.

She denounced “the profound injustice of racism, discrimination, and a targeted campaign orchestrated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”