Real Housewives star Jen Shah has been sentenced to 6.5 years in federal prison for years of ongoing wire fraud.
The self-proclaimed Queen Bee and MVP of Salt Lake City spent yesterday morning in federal court in Manhattan as she faced Judge Stanley Stein and a courtroom packed to its full capacity at 70 people.
Due to the attention this case has gotten in legal circles and pop culture, the courthouse also opened an empty courtroom for a closed-circuit feed of the sentencing for media and interested spectators.
The U.S. attorneys who were in charge of prosecuting Jen urged Judge Stein to sentence her to ten years, saying the term was appropriate for the charges filed against her.
But the Judge showed some mercy to Jen by sentencing her to 78 months with five years of supervised release once she leaves prison, along with financial restitution.
It was reported that Jen stood with no reaction in front of the court as her sentence was handed down, but broke down in tears when she was given a chance to address the court and her family.
RHOSLC: Jen Shah and her legal team pled for only a three year sentence
While the government’s recommendation for Jen Shah’s sentence was ten years in prison, her defense was asking for only three years, and both sides had the chance to present their case before Judge Stein. The proceedings lasted nearly two hours in total.
Although the judge reminded the court that Jen should be treated like a person and not a reality star, her role on the show was an underlying current as Jen said she was not the “carefully created and edited” character fans see weekly on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
Jen’s legal team, led by attorney Priya Chaudhry, reminded the court that her client was taking accountability for her actions and told the court that Jen would never forget the damage she caused to the victims. “Every day since she has pleaded guilty, she has read names and prayed for forgiveness, but she cannot forgive herself,” Chaudhry stated. “She understands she cannot undo these things and the things she has caused their families, but she does acknowledge today is about justice.”
However, the prosecution described Jen and Shah Squad Marketing as the worst kind of businesspeople, saying, “Shah worked hard to make as much money for herself at the expense of vulnerable people. Every cooperating witness said the person with the most power was Jen Shah,” and asked the court to impose a 10-year sentence.
After a short deliberation, Judge Stein imposed his sentence — 78 months in prison and five years of supervised release. The court wished Jen well and said there were hopes she could rebuild her life after her release.
Jen Shah has been ordered to surrender to prison on February 17
Jen Shah was granted six weeks to spend with her family before she is required to report to prison on February 17. Her legal team has requested she be sent to FPC Bryan in Texas, which is a minimum security camp. The Bureau of Prisons needs to determine her security classification before they can decide where she will ultimately end up.
Jen was given a chance to make a statement on her behalf and broke down in tears, saying she was “deeply sorry” for her actions and wanted to apologize to all of her victims. Jen also thanked her family for raising her to understand respect, humility, and loyalty.
Jen promised to repay the money her victims lost, which will be hard as she was fired from Bravo and did not attend the Season 3 reunion.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo