This past Sunday night, Hulu dropped a documentary that painted Jen Shah in a very negative light.
And now, in the wake of the public having a chance to either view The Housewife & the Shah Shocker or at least to read about it, Jen Shah is hoping a judge will drop the charges against her.
In court documents filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on November 30, lawyers for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star asked a judge to dismiss the case against their client.
On what grounds?
These attorneys are arguing that the aforementioned film violated Shah’s right to a fair trial.
“Ms. Shah respectfully requests that the Court grant her leave to file a motion to dismiss the indictment,” these papers read.
“Given both the extensive viewership of Hulu nationwide and Ms. Shah’s public notoriety, a change in venue would not protect Ms. Shah’s rights, nor would alternative remedies such as a detailed voir dire or emphatic jury instructions.”
According to the paperwork, Shah believes there won’t be an “untainted jury pool” now that the documentary is available for everyone to check out ahead of her March 2022 trial.
The documentary in question centers around the federal investigation around into Shah and her assistant Stuart Smith, who have each been accused of defrauding hundreds of victims in a nationwide telemarketing scam.
The movie features interviews from two Homeland Security Investigations agents.
Per Shah’s legal team, the agents shared details about the star’s case that were not publicly available — and "opined on her involvement with the alleged scheme, her ‘lavish lifestyle,’ and her alleged treatment of purported victims."
How can any future member of her jury go into any trial with an impartial mind if they’ve seen this material?
So goes Shah’s reasoning in this case.
This past spring, Shah was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Shah has since pleaded not guilty to these charges… although Smith changed his plea to guilty in November.
Most observers believe he did so because he has evidence against Shah that he’s willing to turn over to authorities.
If he hasn’t done so already.
Said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a press release following Shah’s arrest:
"Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television… allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of [her] scheme to repeatedly scam.
"In actual reality and as alleged, the so-called business opportunities pushed on the victims by Shah and [he] co-conspirators were just fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims’ money."
As for the content of the documentary?
Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Rick Patel addressed Shah’s alleged involvement in selling “lead lists" on the special, stating:
“The folks that are behind this are pros at what they do.
"It is disgusting.
"And what we’d like to tell any victim is, it’s not your fault, please come forward, because we need your help to make sure this doesn’t happen to more people.”
Shah’s attorneys are aghast.
They argue that this interview and others like it "severely jeopardize" Shah’s right to a fair trial.
Moreover, Shah’s defense team claimed in a letter that this was "the second time a member of the prosecutorial team or the USAO has made public, disparaging statements about Ms. Shah."
They cite an alleged August 20 incident in which an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York was overheard at a restaurant "loudly bragging about prosecuting Ms. Shah."
"This cannot be tolerated," Shah’s attorneys wrote.