Jennifer Shah, a cast member on the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” pleaded guilty Monday to defrauding hundreds of victims in a telemarketing scheme for years.
Shah pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Federal sentencing guidelines range from 135 months to 168 months, or 11 to 14 years, in prison, according to a plea agreement. The guidelines are only advisory as the judge could depart from them when he sentences her later this year.
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s Jen Shah Pleads Guilty To Telemarketing Fraud
“I knew this was wrong, I know many people were harmed, and I am so sorry,” Shah told the judge.
As part of a plea agreement, Shah will pay $6.5 million in forfeiture and up to $9.5 million in restitution. Jennifer Shah was a key participant in a nationwide scheme that targeted elderly, vulnerable victims. These victims were sold false promises of financial security but instead, Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement Monday.
“This Office is committed to rooting out these schemes whatever form they take.”
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Shah was arrested in 2021 while Bravo was filming the second season of the reality TV series, with episodes of the show featuring Shah and her castmates talking about her role in the scheme.
At the time episodes aired, Shah had consistently professed her innocence, even creating a tagline for show promos that, “the only thing I’m guilty of is being Shah-mazing.”
Her guilty plea comes as she was set to go to trial in federal court in Manhattan.
Prosecutors shared that since 2012 Shah and others sold so-called “business services” to the alleged victims, which included website design services to some elderly individuals who didn’t own computers. Shah and others also identified and sold as “leads” the names of individuals who, prosecutors allege, they knew would be defrauded by others involved in the alleged scheme.
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Prosecutors revealed how Shah oversaw a sales floor personally and supervised the salespeople who lied directly to the victims of the scheme.
Shah proceeded to hide her role in the fraud by using encrypted messaging apps, placing companies in the name of family and others, as well as setting up an offshore bank account and business operations in Kosovo, per court filings and prosecutors.
Shah also underreported her income on tax returns for several years by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Shah also spent the proceeds from the fraud on her extravagant lifestyle, which was captured on the reality show.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for November 28.
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Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.