Breaking news this morning in the Bravo universe as Jen Shah changed her plea in her fraud case to guilty. It happened this morning in a Manhattan federal courtroom and surprised almost everyone.
The hearing occurred at 10:30 a.m. in front of Judge Sidney Stein, where Jen took full accountability for the charges made against her, several accomplices, and her company, Shah Squad Marketing.
After her guilty plea was entered, the judge scheduled sentencing for a later date, and Jen was set free until that time.
Jen Shah faces a maximum of 14 years in federal prison
Jen Shah was charged with fraud and money laundering in March of 2021, right in the middle of filming for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. In April, she pleaded not guilty to her charges and vowed to prove her innocence, even remaining on Housewives and proclaiming she would be cleared of all charges.
This is why today’s court hearing is so surprising to Bravo fans because Jen vehemently denied any wrongdoing. But today, it appears she has finally taken accountability for her actions over a wire fraud scheme that reportedly stole millions of dollars from the elderly.
Jen officially pleaded guilty to count one, conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing, and the US attorney agreed to drop count two, conspiracy to commit money laundering, in exchange for her fraud plea.
Courthouse News court reporter Josh Russell was one of the first to break the news, tweeting, “Jen Shah sworn in to plead guilty on the first count of her criminal indictment in connection with telemarketing fraud scheme that prosecutors said preyed on the elderly.”
The judge asked Jen directly what took place in her business, and she answered, “Wire fraud, offering services with little to no value. We used interstate telephones and emails. I knew many of the purchasers were over the age of 55. I am so sorry.”
Judge Stein followed up with Jen, asking why the victims bought the services her company was selling. Jen admitted, “Misrepresentations, regarding the value of the product or service, of which it had little to none.” She admitted it was “wrong and illegal.”
Jen’s trial was initially slated to begin this week, but today’s hearing was a shock to everyone, including the media.
Her plea deal means she has agreed to a sentence of up to 168 months in prison, although a judge could, in theory, decide to sentence her to more than that. She also agreed to forfeit $6.5million and to pay restitution to victims of up to $9.5 million. Sentencing is on the books for November 7.
Jen was partying with her fellow Housewives in NYC over the weekend
In several Instagram posts and stories, Jen Shah was spotted out and about in Manhattan over the weekend, alongside frenemy Meredith Marks and longtime pal Heather Gay.
This is a complete turnaround from RHOSLC Season 3, where Jen and Meredith were constantly at each other, and Meredith was certain Jen was guilty.
The three ladies had a swanky hotel pajama party, which Meredith posted pics of on Instagram.
Were the ladies in town specifically to support their friend, who they knew would be going to court, to everyone’s shock? We won’t know until Meredith and Heather spill the tea!
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is currently on hiatus on Bravo.