‘Real Housewives’ Star Jen Shah Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud, Faces 14 Years In Prison
Jen Shah, one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, pled guilty Monday to defrauding senior citizens in a national telemarketing scam in a flip on her initial not-guilty response to the charges from a year ago.
Shah appeared in court Monday morning and reversed her plea as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors to have her charge reduced to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She will also forfeit $6.5 million and pay up to $9.5 million in restitution.
She also admitted to Judge Sidney Stein that her telemarketing scheme was a “misrepresentation of the product,” which “had little to no value.” Shah also responded “yes, your honor,” when asked if she knew her actions were wrong and illegal.
Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York, said that her victims “were sold false promises of financial security but instead Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it.” Over ten of these victims were over the age of 55.
The reality star faces a prison sentence of up to 14 years for her charge. She and her assistant Stuart Smith were first arrested in March of last year, and both responded by pleading not guilty. Smith reversed his plea in November of last year, likely pressuring Shah to take similar action.
Shah’s attorney Priya Chaudry said in a statement that she is “a good woman who crossed a line. She accepts full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed. Ms. Shah is also sorry for disappointing her husband, children, family, friends, and supporters.”
The RHOSLC star’s legal woes are not the first instance of criminal action being taken against people featured on Real Housewives. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne is embroiled in accusations of her own regarding her knowledge of former husband Thomas Girardi’s fraud schemes