Jen Shah may be headed to prison.
First, though, she may be headed to a courtroom.
Because The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star apparently is not going down without a legal fight.
At their arraignment on Friday, Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, pleaded not guilty for their alleged involvement in a nationwide telemarketing scheme.
As previously reported in disturbing detail, Shah was arrested on March 30 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
She’s accused of lying to hundreds of victims across nine states, telling them about phony business opportunities and profiting from the information they provided to her in response.
If convicted on all charges, Shah faces up to 30 years behind bars.
At her hearing on Friday, U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein saidd Shah must put up a $1 million personal recognizance bond (secured by $250,000 in cash or property), which must be co-signed by “two financially responsible persons.”
She will have two weeks to comply with the new conditions and must also hand over any travel documents, such as a passport, to the government, the judge added.
In a press release announcing their arrest earlier this week, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss blasted the reality star.
“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 their scheme to repeatedly scam,” she said.
In actuality, this lawyer continued?
“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.”
The aforementioned scheme started in 2012 and continued all the way through this March, meaning Shah was allegedly defrauding these individuals while filming The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 1.
She was reportedly getting on a bus with her co-stars, headed for Colorado as part of a Season 2 episode, when the indictment came down.
As of this writing, it’s unclear whether Shah will be fired by Bravo or not.
Prosecutors claim Shah and Smith’s scheme was a “coordinated effort to traffic in lists of potential victims,” referred to as “leads.”
From there, they supposedly sold those leads to telemarketing companies that would attempt to sell business services to the targeted individuals.
The pair “received as profit a share of the fraudulent revenue per the terms of their agreement with those participants,” according to the indictment.
Seriously horrible and heinous stuff, is true.
“I AM SHOOKETH,” co-star Heather Gay wrote on social media in response to the arrest and scandal.
We’ll give the final word here, though, to Homeland Security Investigations special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh…
Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success.’ 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.
As a result, their new reality may very well turn out differently than they expected.
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