The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah has been arrested on fraud and money-laundering charges.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Jen and her assistant, Stuart Smith, allegedly “defrauded hundreds of victims” across the country through a telemarketing scheme motivated by “greed”. Many of the reported victims were said to be over 55 years old.
The alleged fraud is said to have begun in 2012 and was said to still ongoing as recently as this month.
It was reported that Jen and her assistant “coordinated effort to traffic in lists of potential victims.”
They allegedly sold their leads to telemarketing companies who would then target those individuals in an attempt to sell specific business services. Jen and her assistant reportedly made a profit from the revenue their business partners made.
The news release stated that Jen and her assistant were each “charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing through which they victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.”
Details of the charges against Jen
The news release said that, “Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television, and Stuart Smith, who is portrayed as Shah’s ‘first assistant,’ allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.”
It added, “In actual reality and as alleged, 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.”
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh went on to say, “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.”
Fitzhugh added that his team “worked to ensure that Shah and Smith will answer for their alleged crimes”, adding, “Their new reality may very well turn out differently than they expected.”
Jen has yet to comment on the charges against her, but appeared for a short court hearing yesterday and is expected at a court hearing in Manhattan again today, Wednesday, March 31.
Jen is no stranger to making headlines
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah has made many headlines since her debut on the premiere season of the show.
Known for her short temper and for being outspoken, Jen has often managed to ruffle a few feathers.
Aside from feuding with some of her castmates, Jen recently made headlines for appearing to berate some of her employees in footage that was leaked on social media.
Jen’s lawyers drafted a cease and desist letter to have the audio and video removed from social media immediately.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is currently on hiatus.