“The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah has been sentenced to 6½ years in prison in her wire fraud case after she pleaded guilty to defrauding hundreds of people, with many of her victims being members of the elderly community, in a telemarketing scheme.
Shah’s 78 months, or 6 1/2-year prison sentence comes as part of a plea deal following a two-year-long legal process. Shah is an original ‘RHOSLC’ cast member; the show’s Season 3 is currently airing. Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were accused of committing wire fraud and money laundering, but Shah initially entered a not guilty plea in April 2021. However, Shah agreed to a plea agreement in July 2022.
The reality star pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and the money laundering charge was dropped as part of her deal. She also agreed to to forfeit $6.5 million and pay restitution up to $9.5 million. In addition, she will be under supervision for five years after her release.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the scheme — which the two operated over the course of nine years — “generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.”
“With today’s sentence, Jennifer Shah finally faces the consequences of the many years she spent targeting vulnerable, elderly victims,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “These individuals were lured in by false promises of financial security, but in reality, Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it. This conviction and sentence demonstrate once again that we will continue to vigorously protect victims of financial fraud and hold accountable those who engage in fraudulent schemes.”
This isn’t the first time a housewife has gone to prison. “New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice served 11 months for financial fraud. Shah was arrested on March 30; cameras were rolling during a taping of ‘RHOSLC’ when federal officers descended upon production to arrest Shah, who took off running before they arrived. The footage became part of Season 2.