U.S. SEC sues company that markets beverages to women

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U.S. SEC sues institution  that markets beverages to women © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seen astatine their office successful Washington, D.C., U.S., May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A confederate California institution that sells beer, vino and bottled h2o targeting pistillate customers has been sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly defrauding investors retired of millions of dollars.

In a ailment filed connected Tuesday, the SEC said SHE Beverage Co raised implicit $15 cardinal from much than 2,000 investors successful unregistered banal income from 2017 to 2019 by falsely touting its concern plans and promoting its successes.

The SEC said the Lancaster, California-based institution overstated revenue, spent lone 2% of capitalist proceeds connected beverage inventory alternatively of the promised 30% and made bogus claims it had received takeover bids arsenic precocious arsenic $500 million.

It besides said Chief Executive Lupe Rose, Chief Financial Officer Sonja Shelby and Chief Operations Officer Katherine Dirden misappropriated astatine slightest $7.5 cardinal from investors, including $1.2 cardinal spent astatine casinos and different sums to bargain cars, trucks and luxury goods and marque lease payments connected a home.

"We person reviewed the ailment and we look guardant to correcting the grounds and proving that the allegations are inaccurate successful unfastened court," Jonathan Bletzacker, a lawyer for the institution and the executives, said successful an email connected Wednesday.

The SEC said SHE was incorporated successful 2015, six years aft co-founders Rose, 52, and Shelby, 58, some of Palmdale, California, began moving connected its concept.

SHE's website describes the institution arsenic "celebrity driven," with h2o products designed to service a "health cautious" audience.

The SEC suit successful Los Angeles national tribunal seeks civilian fines, the recoupment of ill-gotten gains, and serviceman and manager bans connected the idiosyncratic defendants.

The lawsuit is SEC v SHE Beverage Co, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 21-07339.

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