LuLaRoe's founders have been linked to 31 LLCs set up during the last 3 years - and a lawsuit alleges they're attempting to shield assets like a Gulfstream jet, a ranch in Wyoming, and a world-record-breaking supercar named Ruthie

lularoe founders own multiple llcs 2x1iStock; Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images; CBS This Morning/YouTube; Samantha Lee/Business InsideriStock; Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images; CBS This Morning/YouTube; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

  • A lawsuit alleges that LuLaRoe founder and CEO Mark Stidham and a number of associates are hiding money and assets in a web of LLCs.
  • Stidham and his associates are connected to at least 33 LLCs set up between 2015 and the present day, according to documents reviewed by Business Insider. Thirty-one of these LLCs are still active. 
  • The majority of these LLCs also list LuLaRoe's Corona, California "hub" as a principal office.
  • In its lawsuit, manufacturer Providence Industries claims a number of these LLCs are linked to assets such as a world-record-breaking car worth over $2 million and a lush ranch in rural Wyoming.
  • "We believe the claims in this case are completely without merit and will fight vigorously against them," a LuLaRoe spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement.

LuLaRoe's manufacturer has filed a lawsuit against the legging empire, alleging that the company and its leaders are playing a shell game in order to avoid paying creditors. 

Providence Industries, LuLaRoe's clothing supplier, is suing its client for $49 million. The lawsuit alleges that LuLaRoe founders Mark and Deanne Stidham, along with their business associates and relatives, have transferred "substantial assets" to both themselves and their family members in order to support "lavish lifestyles" and avoid paying creditors.

The lawsuit specifically identifies 17 limited liability companies, which the plaintiff claims are used to hide assets like "exotic race cars, airplanes, warehouses, residences, and raw land."

"We believe the claims in this case are completely without merit and will fight vigorously against them," a LuLaRoe spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement. "Given this is pending litigation, we cannot comment on the specifics."

What's more, Mark Stidham submitted a sworn declaration to "address some of the patently false statements" in Providence Industries' filing. He said that the limited liability companies mentioned in Providence Industries' lawsuit were real estate and investment holding companies with "no nefarious or improper purpose."

Business Insider has reviewed documents linking LuLaRoe and its founders to 31 still-active LLCs established in the last three years. Two additional Wyoming-based LLCs  - Varldspela LLC, which was filed on April 10, 2018, and Bradham Investment Holdings, which was filed on September 18, 2017  - were both dissolved on June 18, 2018. 

Here's a look at the web of LLCs and luxurious assets surrounding LuLaRoe, its founders, and their associates:

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Mark Stidham himself appears on the paperwork filed for some of these entities, but business associates and family members are mentioned in the majority of the LLCs.

Mark Stidham himself appears on the paperwork filed for some of these entities, but business associates and family members are mentioned in the majority of the LLCs.

Location is the factor that truly ties together this batch of companies.

Twenty-eight active LLCs list the address of LuLaRoe's "hub" in Corona, California as their principal address. A 2017 assessment record for the property states that its "land use" pertains to light manufacturing and it encompasses 7.42 acres.

Two other LLCs claim to share a Wyoming address with the Bronze Buffalo Club LLC, an "exclusive club" with business ties to Mark Stidham. Another LLC, of which Mark Stidham is CEO, lists a residential property in Corona as its principal office. And one LLC's principal address is listed as that of a corporate services company in Delaware.

A number of the LLCs attached to LuLaRoe and the Stidhams are linked to the business itself, according to documents reviewed by Business Insider.

James Vogt, a San Diego State University lecturer and certified fraud examiner, told Business Insider that LLCs frequently serve a "very legitimate purpose" for businesses and individuals.

And Kate Andresen, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property at Nilan Johnson Lewis, told Business Insider that businesses with a franchise-based model or corporations dealing with different levels of risk across functions also tend to rely on LLCs to create a "complex business structure."

And a number of the earlier limited liability companies linked to LuLaRoe and the Stidhams appear to serve a clear business-related purpose.

LuLaRoe itself was first set up as an LLC in California in 2013. The organization was then incorporated as LLR in Wyoming in 2015, under the names of the Stidhams and LuLaRoe's chief financial officer Noall Knighton.

As far as the company's intellectual property, Lennon Leasing LLC — a Wyoming-based limited liability company formed on September 23, 2015 under Mark Stidham's name — holds the trademark on LuLaRoe's logos.

And 2000 Carolina Pines Dr. LLC reflects the address of the company's 470,000-square-foot distribution center in Blythewood, South Carolina. The State reported that the company bought the property for $16 million in April 2017.

LuLaRoe, the Stidhams, and their associates are linked to 19 LLCs set up in December 2017 alone, according to a review of documents by Business Insider.

LuLaRoe, the Stidhams, and their associates are linked to 19 LLCs set up in December 2017 alone, according to a review of documents by Business Insider.

Providence Industries alleged in its lawsuit that 17 LLCs linked to LuLaRoe and its founders were established in December 2017 alone. And according to documents reviewed by Business Insider, a total of 19 still-active LLCs with links to LuLaRoe were established in that month.

Providence Industries claims in its lawsuit that many of these limited liability companies were established to help LuLaRoe and the Stidhams hide money and assets from creditors. The lawsuit also alleges that Providence Industries learned that its client was in "a precarious financial situation" toward the end of 2017.

And those LLCs appeared to have been established at a particularly rapid-fire pace. Four of the LLCs were filed on December 8, 2017, while three were established three days later on December 11, according to documents reviewed by Business Insider. Six were filed on December 14 of that year. Among that December crop of limited liability companies, two entities were set up in Wyoming, while the rest were created in California.

Experts told Business Insider that establishing numerous LLCs in one month could be a time-consuming process, and may be a red flag.

"When you start forming even a single limited liability company, it takes time to put all the materials together," Andresen told Business Insider. "It takes the effort of actually getting the filings put in place, and it costs money because there are filing fees associated with that."

Vogt said that he's also seen people use LLCs to hide or move around assets in situations like bankruptcy cases or contentious divorces. He said that he can't weigh in on the specific claims Providence Industries made against LuLaRoe, the Stidhams, and their associates. But he did say that the number of LLCs in this case, as well as the timing of the filings, could come across as "suspect" and could serve as a "red flag."

"It's certainly not an indictment," he said. "But if I was involved, I would definitely want to investigate further."

According to the lawsuit, some LLCs are allegedly linked to high-value assets, like Mark Stidham's two Koenigsegg cars.

Mark Stidham isn't just a casual Koenigsegg collector. He's a figure of some note among owners of the Swedish sports cars, appearing in industry documentaries and feature articles.

And Providence Industries' lawsuit against LuLaRoe alleges that its founder is holding not one, but two of the uber-expensive vehicles under a limited liability company.

According to the filing, Stidham owns a Koenigsegg CCX worth around $700,000 and a Koenigsegg Agera RS that's valued at more than $2 million. The lawsuit also alleges that the two Koenigseggs are owned through the Ghost Squadron LLC, an active Wyoming-based limited liability company that was first established on December 13, 2016. Ghost Squadron LLC lists Mark Stidham as an organizer and lists the company's "hub" in Corona, California as the address of its principal office.

Legalinc, a corporate services company, was appointed as the company's registered agent. LuLaRoe general counsel Robert Loll is listed in documents filed with the state of Wyoming as an authorized filer for the company. Mark Stidham first used the services of Loll's law firm, Floratos, Loll, & Devine, in 2000. Loll came on as LuLaRoe's general counsel in November of 2015, according to his LinkedIn.

"Ghost Squadron" — a nickname that car lovers use to refer to a pack of Koenigseggs — is also the name of a short documentary by Car Throttle, an online community for car enthusiasts, published on August 31, 2018. The film follows Mark Stidham and a group of other Koenigsegg owners as they meet up with company founder Christian von Koenigsegg and attend the Exotics on Cannery Row auto show.

Ironically, one of the other owners profiled in the documentary is Dan Kang, the CEO of Mydyer. Mydyer is a division of Providence Industries, the company suing LuLaRoe. Kang declined to comment for this story.

In his interview with Car Throttle, Stidham said he first bought the Koenigsegg CCX. Then he purchased the considerably more expensive Agera, which he dubbed "Ruthie."

Ruthie blasted through a number of world speed records in 2017 — seemingly thanks in part to yet another LLC.

"Ruthie" has acquired renown of its own within the world of luxury cars. The automobile even counts celebrity and car enthusiast Jay Leno as a fan.

The reason for the car's stardom lies partly with Straight & Narrow LLC, which lists Mark Stidham as a manager. Straight & Narrow LLC was filed on July 11, 2017 in the state of Nevada, and also lists Marian Brady as a manager. Deanne Stidham's surname was previously Brady.

A few months after this still-active LLC was established, Straight & Narrow seemingly played a part in setting up an event in which Ruthie successfully set five world speed records for a production car.

Straight & Narrow LLC spokesperson Joel Oscarson told The Las Vegas Sun that the group was "planning on beating" Bugatti's production car speed record of 268 mph. The event required that an 11-mile swath of highway between Las Vegas and the unincorporated town of Pahrump, Nevada, close between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on November 4 and November 5.

Before Ruthie's moment of triumph, Stidham reportedly tagged along on a "sighting run" across the deserted highway with race car driver Niklas Lilja.

But those aren't the only cars that Stidham owns, according to the lawsuit.

Ghost Squadron LLC isn't the only car-related limited liability company that Providence Industries has set its sights on. The lawsuit alleges that Inland Exotic Motors LLC, an active LLC established on August 29, 2018 in California, also serves to shield a stable of luxury vehicles from creditors. Mark Stidham is listed as the company's CEO in a company statement from September 2018.

In a sworn legal statement, LuLaRoe's former head of design and production, Patrick Winget — who abruptly left the company in September — claims to have frequently seen Mark Stidham driving a Porsche, Aston Martin, custom Saleen racer, and "other vehicles worth many millions of dollars."

In his statement, Stidham denied owning most of the cars in a photograph of vehicles that the plaintiff included in the initial filing, saying that Kang owned most of the cars in the picture.

Stidham also said that Winget was a "disgruntled" ex-employee. The LuLaRoe CEO denied driving or owning a custom Saleen race car in 2017 and also denied ever owning an Aston Martin.

According to the lawsuit, the Stidhams also fly in a Gulfstream jet worth millions, thanks to an LLC filed in Delaware.

According to the lawsuit, the Stidhams also fly in a Gulfstream jet worth millions, thanks to an LLC filed in Delaware.

Luxury cars aren't the only modes of transportation at the Stidhams' disposal, according to Providence Industries' lawsuit.

The suit alleged that the couple operated a private plane through the Delaware-based limited liability company 159DE LLC. The registered agent for the company is Incorporating Services, a corporate services firm based in Dover, Delaware. In the state of Delaware, LLCs are just required to publicly list registered agents.

Business Insider reviewed a Delaware Uniform Commercial Code record on Lexis-Nexis which tied the LLC to LuLaRoe. In that filing, which was dated November 1, 2016, the address of 159DE LLC is that of LuLaRoe's Corona hub.

A LuLaRoe spokesperson did not comment on the function of 159DE LLC in its statement to Business Insider.

According to the Federal Aviation Association's website, the aircraft owned by 159DE LLC is a Gulfstream G550 with a certification date of October 31, 2016. The craft contains 20 seats, according to Flight Aware.

Kevin O'Leary, president and CEO of aviation consulting and brokerage firm Jet Advisors, estimated that this specific aircraft cost between $28 million and $30 million in 2016. Today, he said the jet's value would likely lie between $20 million and $22 million.

A number of the Stidham's LLCs are linked to specific properties, including an expansive ranch in rural Wyoming.

One asset that features prominently in the legal clash between LuLaRoe and Providence Industries is the spacious Stidham ranch in Thayne, Wyoming.

Mark Stidham is one of the organizers of a Wyoming company called WillowBrook Properties LLC, which was filed on March 22, 2018. On the LLC's articles of organization, Stidham's listed address appears to be that of the ranch in question.

The ranch also frequently appears in the Stidhams' social media activity.

Nestled along the Salt River, the ranch borders national forests, features a guest cabin, a four-bay garage, and presents a perfect spot to fish for brown trout.

In one video, Deanne Stidham can be seen pointing out the heads of what she describes as a "buffalo," "moose," "elk," and "a lion guy" on the rustic walls of what appears to be one of the residences located on the ranch.

"This is what you do when you go to the cabin," Deanne Stidham can be heard saying to the gathered guests and LuLaRoe sellers. "You just lay around and you just relax."

The ranch is apparently an important place for the Stidhams. In his LuLaRoe bio, Mark Stidham is described as splitting his time between California and Wyoming with his family.

And, in its lawsuit, Providence Industries also alleges that Mark Stidham "showed off pictures of his multi-million ranch property in Wyoming" during a business trip to South Korea and Vietnam.

In 2015, the property's price was listed as $7,250,000.

Winget alleged that, in response to complaints, Stidham indicated several times that he and Deanne could just "jump ship" from LuLaRoe and move to Wyoming or the Bahamas.

The LuLaRoe spokesperson did not comment specifically about whether or not the Stidhams plan to relocate in a statement to Business Insider.

Stidham himself denied the allegation in his sworn declaration.

"To be clear, I do not, and have never had, any intention or plans of absconding abroad with money," he said. "To the contrary, I remain committed to the LuLaRoe business and continue to work daily on the business."

A separate LLC reflects the address of a Wyoming-based plane hangar.

Another LLC, Airport Road #25, is registered to the address of LuLaRoe's Corona's hub. The name of the LLC appears to reflect the address of a jet hangar.

Airport Road #25 LLC was registered in Wyoming on August 17, 2017 and names Marian Brady as the company's organizer. Robert Loll is listed as an authorized filer, and Legalinc is listed as a registered agent.

The principal address of this active LLC appeared to be that of the Stidhams' ranch in Thayne, Wyoming when the company was first filed in 2017. However, in Airport Road #25's annual report for 2018, its principal office was listed as the address of LuLaRoe's Corona hub.

This particular address — Airport Road #25 — also makes an appearance in an invitation to a LuLaRoe training session hosted as recently as October 25, 2018. Guests were invited to "Hang at the Hangar" with the Stidhams.

The event was billed as an "amazing training session." It cost $20 a person. Food and beverages were served.

Some of the LLCs linked to LuLaRoe appear to have participated in land deals worth millions of dollars.

A few limited liability companies connected to the Stidhams and LuLaRoe appear to have sold land to one another in Nevada.

Wyoming-based Hudsloan Land Company LLC was filed on December 1, 2016. Its filings list Mark Stidham as a manager.

During the summer of 2018, Hudsloan Land Company sold a plot of "unimproved land" to a Nevada-based LLC bearing the name of a Nevada address. The sales price of the property was listed as $5,000,000.

Business Insider is declining to name the Nevada-based LLC, to avoid revealing a specific address connected to the Stidhams.

This Nevada-based LLC was filed on December 19, 2017 and also has ties to LuLaRoe through its listed manager: a Wyoming company called Big Sky Company Ventures LLC. Big Sky Company Ventures, which was filed on December 11, 2017, lists LuLaRoe's Corona hub as its principal office.

A second active LLC, which was filed in Nevada on December 19, 2017, also lists Big Sky Company Ventures LLC as a manager. This LLC purchased "unimproved land" from Hudsloan Land Company LLC in the summer of 2018. The sales price was listed as $400,000 on Lexis-Nexis.

Mark Stidham is also attached to an additional company called Hudsloan Enterprises Inc. LuLaRoe's former head of design and production, Patrick Winget, claimed in sworn testimony that Stidham asked him to help set up Hudsloan Enterprises because he had "bad credit."

Beyond the LLCs, Mark Stidham is attached to an additional company called Hudsloan Enterprises Inc. Like LuLaRoe, the company's name appears to be a portmanteau of the names of the founding couple's grandchildren. That company was also set up in 2015, a few months after LLR was incorporated.

Mark Stidham is listed as an officer of Hudsloan Enterprises, not to be confused with Hudsloan Land Company LLC.

Hudsloan Enterprises makes an appearance on a California WARN report, in which it was announced that the company was terminating 265 employees in Los Angeles due to a "permanent" closure effective February 12, 2016. Hudsloan Enterprises is also listed as a defendant in a 2017 class-action labor lawsuit, along with LuLaRoe LLC and LLR Inc.

LuLaRoe's former head of design and production, Patrick Winget — who abruptly left the company in September — is listed as a "historical contact" and former CEO of Hudsloan Enterprises in Lexis-Nexis documents.

A LuLaRoe spokesperson did not comment on the function of Hudsloan Enterprises. In his sworn testimony, Winget claimed that Stidham asked him to help set up Hudsloan Enterprises because he had "bad credit." Winget did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

A LuLaRoe spokesperson did not comment specifically on Winget's claims in its comments to Business Insider, but said, "We believe the claims in this case are completely without merit and will fight vigorously against them."

If you have information to share about LuLaRoe, email retail@businessinsider.com.

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