A Real Housewives cast member appears to be in real trouble with the law.
Jen Shah, along with one of her assistants, Stuart Smith, has been arrested for her alleged role in a telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of victims throughout the United States.
The Utah native was indicted on March 30 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in a press release on Tuesday.
“Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television, and Stuart Smith, who is portrayed as Shah’s ‘first assistant,’ allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.
“In actual reality and as alleged, the so-called business opportunities pushed on the victims by Shah, Smith, and their co-conspirators were just fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims’ money.
"Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes."
There may be a lot of confusing legal words in there, but the case boils down to this:
Shah is accused of duping American citizens with fake business opportunities.
We can’t speak on the details of the charges, but it’s very safe to assume she then profited in some way by these victims believing they were agreeing to take part in said opportunities.
She reportedly preyed on the weak and gullible.
“Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success,’” HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh added.
“In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.
"As alleged, disturbingly, Shah and Smith objectified their very real human victims as ‘leads’ to be bought and sold, offering their personal information for sale to other members of their fraud ring.
"Working with our partners at the NYPD and the United States Attorney’s Office, SDNY, and with the assistance of HSI Salt Lake City, HSI New York worked to ensure that Shah and Smith will answer for their alleged crimes.
"As a result, their new reality may very well turn out differently than they expected.”
Shah and Smith each face a maximum sentence of 30 years for the wire fraud charges and an additional 20 years for the money laundering charges.
Jen is married to Sharrieff Shah, a special teams coordinator for the University of Utah’s football team.
She has two kids and was one of the breakout stars of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 1.
According to Andy Cohen, Season 2 filming is underway.
The telemarketing fraud at the center of this scandal has allegedly been going on since 2012; it took place in Shah’s home state of Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New York, and New Jersey.
The indictment outlines that the victims were allegedly sold things such as tax preparation, coaching services and website design, “notwithstanding that many Victims were elderly and did not own a computer.”
Shah and others supposedly created lists of their victims.
They then sold those lists to other participants in the fraud, and “received as profit a share of the fraudulent revenue per the terms of their agreement with those participants.”
Even if Shah is convicted and spends time in jail, sadly, this doesn’t mean her reality TV career is over.
Teresa Giudice infamously pleaded guilty to financial fraud back in 2016… spent many months behind bars… and is now raking in a hefty salary as a main cast member on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.