Jen Shah RHOSLC (Real Housewives of Salt Lake City) star pleads guilty to wire fraud in national scheme targeting over 55 year old vulnerable victims. Faces 14 years max prison and paying out $9.5m in fines.
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City‘s Jen Shah has pled guilty to federal charges of organizing a $5million telemarketing scam which defrauded hundreds of elderly people across the country.
Shah now faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison after her representatives reportedly struck a plea deal with prosecutors pagesix reported.
The reality star is also facing the possibility of paying out $9.5million in fines and restitution.
Addressing the court, Shah said that she ‘knew it was wrong’ and that she was ‘so sorry’ for the ‘many people’ who were harmed.
Shah’s plea comes after she was arrested last year over a telemarketing scheme that defrauded older people. https://t.co/96IYZVsleE
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) July 11, 2022
Orchestrated plan to commit wire fraud
Translation: ‘I am so sorry I got caught.’
Shah admitted that she ‘agreed with others to commit with wire fraud’ which began in 2012 and ‘knew it misled’ victims, over 10 of which were over the age of 55.
Shah added there was a ‘misrepresentation of the product … regarding value of the service,’ noting it ‘had little to no value.’
Translation: ‘I sought to capitalize on my reality star hubris while offering nothing in return and seeking to deceive vulnerable investors.’
When asked by US District Judge Stein if she knew what she was doing was wrong and illegal, Shah replied, ‘Yes, your honor.’
Translation: ‘Yes, but I was willing to gamble for the sake of outspoken profits.’
Before pleading guilty the disgraced reality fixture had been facing up to 50 years behind bars if she went ahead with her Manhattan trial, which was scheduled to begin on July 18.
Bravo star initially pled not guilty
She was charged in March last year, along with her assistant Stuart Smith who has also pleaded guilty.
The Bravo star initially pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and conspiring to commit money laundering through telemarketing.
During the reunion show in March this year, Shah sobbed as she declared that she was ‘fighting’ the charges after having pled not guilty when charges were first made.
She said: ‘I’m innocent. I will fight this for every person out there that can’t fight for themselves because they don’t have the resources or the means, so they don’t fight.
‘I will fight because number one, I’m innocent, and number two I’m going to f***ing represent every other person out there that can’t fight and hasn’t been able to.’
Former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement last year: ‘Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television… allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.’
Scam included reality star getting share of fraudulent revenue
The NYPD previously alleged that Shah had ‘hundreds’ of victims, with the alleged scam reportedly running for at least nine years – starting in 2012.
Prosecutors claim that Shah orchestrated the complicated scheme to generate lists of potential victims, with the majority aged over 55.
She is accused of then selling those leads to telemarketing companies which would in turn try to sell business services to the victims.
Shah would then receive a share of the fraudulent revenue that the telemarketers generated according to court documents.
Last month, she filed to prevent prosecutors from using clips from the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City at her fraud trial.
The TV personality, 48 stated she does not want ‘any clips from the RHOSLC’ used as evidence in court.
According to court documents, obtained by Page Six, her defense claims the footage ‘do not have any of the indicia of reliability’ and ‘highly edited and crafted through post-production.’
Shah even released ‘not guilty’ merch ahead of the upcoming fraud trial before Monday’s U-turn.
She promoted‘#FreeJenShah’ t-shirts, and had some tees featuring her face printed on them from the moment she was arrested by federal authorities.