What To Know About Reality Star Jen Shah's Wire Fraud Case
The “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” cast member was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for defrauding the elderly.
On Jan. 6, 2023, Jen Shah was sentenced to to six and a half years in prison for defrauding thousands of victims in a telemarketing fraud scheme.
According to CNN, Shah had asked for a three-year sentence. On the day of the sentencing, Shah’s defense attorney, Priya Chaudhry, released a statement, stating Shah "deeply regrets the mistakes that she has made and is profoundly sorry to the people she has hurt."
Jen Shah’s legal troubles may be far from over, but the Real Housewives cast member’s motto is “the show must go on”.
According to PEOPLE, the 48-year-old reality television star pled guilty to wire fraud charges, but fans can still expect to see her drama unfold on the third season of the show.
"This case is ‘a very big part of Jen's story. Producers don't want us to stop following it now,’" PEOPLE reported, quoting an unnamed source. "They'll keep filming with her as long as they can, just like they did with Teresa [Giudice]."
Here’s a breakdown of Shah’s run in with the law.
Shah became a cast member on RHOSLC during its first season in November 2020 but in March 2021, she and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were arrested for conspiracy to commit wire fraud using their telemarketing company.
Shah and Smith initially pled not guilty while the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York built a case around her telemarketing business.
According to CNN, Shah, Smith, and others, are accused of targeting and defrauding the elderly by selling “business services” to victims who did not need them, including website design to those who didn’t own computers.
Shah also made and sold “lead lists” of people they knew could be defrauded easily.
Shah maintained her innocence for over a year, until July 11, 2022, when she entered a guilty plea in Manhattan federal courtroom.
"From 2012 to March 2021 in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere I agreed with others to commit wire fraud," Shah told U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein, as reported by Yahoo. "I did this by knowingly providing customer names to people who were marketing business services that had little or no value.”
"I knew this was wrong. I know many people were harmed and I am so sorry,” Shah admitted.
Shah will be sentenced on November 28 and could serve a maximum sentence of 30 years. However, as part of a plea deal, in exchange for forfeiting $6.5 million and paying up to $9.5 in restitution, prosecutors are calling for a sentence of no more than 14 years, according to Variety.