She lied! RHOSLC’s Jen Shah set for prison after guilty plea: The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star denied fraud claims at first, but now the telemarketing scam could cost her US$9.5 million
Shah’s problems will only get worse, though.
When she is sentenced by a federal judge on November 28, Shah could also be ordered to pay as much as US$3 million in additional restitution to her victims. And she faces up to 30 years in prison, though it is likely she will be sentenced to less prison time.
She remains free on US$1 million bail that was set when she initially pleaded not guilty in April 2021.
She initially denied the accusations on RHOSLC
But on Monday, she admitted to her role in the multi-state scam, which ripped off hundreds of victims, telling US district judge Sidney Stein, “I knew this was wrong.”
Shah participated in the national scheme by helping to sell lists of “leads”, or potential telemarketing victims, prosecutors alleged. Shah did so knowing that the leads were vulnerable, often elderly people, many of whom were then scammed out of their life savings, prosecutors said.
“Shah often controlled each aspect of the frauds,” said Damian Williams, the US attorney in Manhattan.
Between 2018 and 2020, Shah controlled the scheme’s Manhattan operations, Williams alleged, saying that at one point she moved some operations to Kosovo to avoid law enforcement.
“From 2012 to March 2021, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, I agreed with others to commit wire fraud,” Shah told the judge, according to the New York Post.
“I did this by knowingly providing customer names to people who were marketing business services that had little or no value,” she said.
Prosecutors said Shah and others delivered lists of people to purchasers of the “Business Opportunity Scheme” that actually consisted of others who had previously paid to create their own online businesses.
They said she lied about how much individuals could earn after buying the businesses services and the purported success of others who had bought the services.
How it all began...
Shah began operating a Manhattan-based sales floor that sold the fraudulent products, assistant US attorney Kiersten Ann Fletcher said. From 2018 to 2020, Shah controlled the day-to-day operations of the Manhattan operation and moved some of its operations to Kosovo to dodge law enforcement and regulatory scrutiny, the prosecutor said.
Prosecutors said Shah took various steps to hide her role in the fraud, including by incorporating her business entities using third parties’ names, instructing others to do the same and directing others to use encrypted messaging applications to communicate with each other. They said she also made numerous cash withdrawals structured to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements.
Fletcher said Shah told one co-conspirator to lie under oath when questioned by the Federal Trade Commission and provided him with written talking points to follow during the deposition.
She added that tax returns showed Shah had under-reported her proceeds from the fraud by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Shah also acknowledged during her plea that she had undergone treatment two years ago for alcohol and depression.
- That’s one Real Housewives scandal closed: the reality TV star just pled guilty to wire fraud in Manhattan, New York, after running a decade-long telemarketing scheme
- She allegedly scammed elderly victims out of their life savings and is even believed to have asked a co-conspirator to lie under oath in court – now she faces up to 30 years in prison