Jen Shah’s assistant Stuart Smith has changed his tune and pleaded guilty to charges made against him over the pair’s alleged involvement in a dodgy telemarketing scheme — leaving fans wondering what repercussions that will have on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star.
Jen has maintained her innocence ever since she and Stuart were arrested earlier this year and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Some of Jen’s legal drama was captured by Bravo cameras and played out on the show. While the cameras didn’t capture Jen’s arrest, the show aired the dramatic moment when the feds came looking for her.
Both Jen and Stuart were arrested and released on bail, but now that Stuart has changed his plea, it will be interesting to see what that means for Jen.
Jen Shah’s assistant pleads guilty
Both Jen and Stuart initially pleaded not guilty to their alleged involvement in a nationwide telemarketing scheme. However, in a surprising turn of events, Stuart recently changed his plea to guilty and is facing a maximum of 30 years in jail.
Attorney Ronald Richards — who’s involved in the Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi legal drama — recently spoke with Us Weekly about the latest update regarding Stuart Smith. It’s important to note that Richards is not involved in the case, but he shed some light on the situation.
“He pleaded guilty to three counts: conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice,” Richards said, adding, “He admitted to hiding ownership and money, defrauding elderly people, and lying to the Federal Trade Commission in a deposition, which constituted perjury.”
When Jen was arrested back in March, a press release from Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated that the 48-year-old RHOSLC star portrayed herself “as a wealthy and successful businessperson” on TV.
It went on to state that Jen and Stuart “allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.”
It continued, “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.”
Will Stuart Smith flip on Jen Shah?
It’s unclear if The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star has had any contact with Stuart Smith since their arrests, but reports emerged in August that Stuart had planned to change his plea.
Stuart’s attorney wrote a letter to the U.S. district judge and noted that Stuart was “working diligently towards a resolution of his case.”
“I am confident his case will be resolved without the necessity of a trial…” his attorney added.
Richards said back in August that he thought Stuart’s letter was a sign that he would “most likely flip” on Jen Shah.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on Bravo.