Jen Shah Accused of Leading Telemarketing Scheme; FBI Hones in on Real Housewife

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As it turns out, things can get worse for Jen Shah.

How much worse?

That question is still to be decided.

But The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star may not wanna make any plans for the next 20-30 years or so... unless those plans include walks around the prison yard.

Jen Shah in Utah

According to TMZ, federal authorities have determined that Shah was one of the main orchestrators of a nationwide telemarketing scheme that resulted in her arrest this spring.

She was previously nabbed for simply taking part in the scheme.

Now, however, the FBI says in legal documents that Shah, along with five others, have "greater culpability" than anyone else involved. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office has placed Shah in the "Tier A" category for her alleged crimes.

Jen Shah Gets Fancy

Shah was arrested in late March for allegedly targeting and scamming people "vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people" out of their money, per U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.

The lawyer said via statement back then that Shah "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."

Jen Shah Confessional Pic

Translation?

Shah and her assistant reportedly lied to victims on the phone about potential business opportunities.... collected their information... and then sold this information to financial predators.

We're talking some serious despicable stuff here.

Allegedly.

Jen Shah with a Drink

Shah pled not guilty in April and was released on strict conditions.

The Bravo personality and her assistant 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 children and was one of the breakout stars of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 1.

Jen Shah Image

“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 several weeks ago.

“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."

Shah, Jen

Concluded this attorney:

"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.”

Jen Shah as a Housewife

In response to the FBI alleging that Shah helped to orchestrate this scheme, Shah's attorney, Priya Chaudhry, told TMZ:

"The reality is -- she is totally innocent."

The lawyer referred to the government's latest claim as "absurd," and explained that it came after a nearly decade-long investigation, along with a related trial in which Shah's name was never mentioned.

"This is just their latest made-up allegation, and like all others, totally unsupported by evidence," added Chaudhry.

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