Man accused of defrauding investors pleads guilty, faces 400 years in prison


Posted on July 8, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 3:48 PM

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Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - Angry investors have compared a Louisville oil executive to disgraced financier Bernard Madoff.

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They say he took millions from them.

On Wednesday David Rose pleaded guilty and now faces more than 400 years behind bars.

David Rose, who lives in Lake Forest of eastern Jefferson County, will end up serving only about 1% of that time, after pleading guilty to tax evasion and 21 counts of fraud.

Rose apologized and agreed to pay back $2.9 million he admitted swindling out of 60 victims.

But as we first reported last week, the plea deal won't solve all of Rose's mounting legal problems.

Rose's attorney, Scott C. Cox, arrived alone at the federal courthouse Wednesday morning.

His client, David Rose, got there at 7:30 a.m., avoiding the media by sneaking inside early.

Rose told the judge he is currently under treatment for alcoholism, depression and anxiety.

He then admitted evading taxes by putting property and cars in other people's names and lying to potential oil and gas futures investors about his companies.

The FBI first raided Rose's Louisville office in 2004.

Rick Wimp, a service station operator in Corydon, says his father lost nearly all of his retirement money investing in Rose's schemes.

"It was almost $300,000 he invested in 33 units in three different projects," he says.

The Wimps hope to get some of their money back, as do other investors nationwide.

A former Rose employee thinks that will never happen.

Rose faces additional civil action from the SEC for operations Rose allegedly ran with his sons in Indiana.

In that case, the government says Rose raised $15.5 million from 265 investors.

That case has not yet gone to court.

The government says one thing Rose recently paid for with investors' money was plastic surgery.

WHAS11's Adam Walser talked to Rose in the hallway of the federal courthouse after the hearing and offered him the chance to apologize to his victims through us.

He declined to comment.

Rose will be sentenced on November 16th.