JEN Shah, a star of the Housewives of Salt Lake City, is on trial after an alleged telemarketing scheme that scammed hundreds of people.
Shah garnered a following after starring in The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
Why is Jen Shah on trial?
Jen Shah’s legal troubles date back to March 2021 when she was arrested for fraud and money laundering.
She has since been accused of running a telemarketing scam that targeted hundreds of elderly people across the country, alongside several accomplices.
In April 2021, Shah pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering charges.
Despite her initial plea, her former assistant and alleged accomplice, Stuart Smith, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud involving telemarketing, a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering and a charge of obstructing an officer’s proceeding.
After the arrest, the star was slammed by fans for “lying” and saying her husband was “taken to the hospital with internal bleeding,” as others also called her a “pathological liar” and “not even a good or smart liar.” .
Shah’s trial began in June 2022, and she changed her plea to guilty the following month.
Shah’s lawyer Priya Chaudhry told PEOPLE: “Jen pleaded guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.”
If convicted, Shah faces up to 30 years in prison. She is expected to be sentenced on November 28, 2022 and has agreed not to appeal if she is sentenced to 14 months or less.
Chaudhry told the outlet: “Ms Shah is a good woman who has crossed a line. She takes full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed.”
Why did Jen Shah initially turn down a plea deal?
During season 3 of RHOSLC, Shah discussed her legal troubles and revealed why she turned down a plea deal.
Shah blamed Smith for the telemarketing scam and said she was “innocent”.
“I was played by Stuart Smith,” Shah claimed. “I wouldn’t be in this at all if it wasn’t for Stuart.”
Shah said in a statement to PageSix: “I’m fighting it. I’m innocent and I will fight for every person out there who can’t fight for themselves because they don’t have the resources or the means, so don’t fight.”
She continued, “I’m going to fight because #1, I’m innocent, and #2, I’m going to represent the fuck for every other person out there who can’t fight and couldn’t.” ”
Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney Emily D. Baker told PEOPLE that she may have to pay a $9 million recovery fee that would go to Shah’s husband, Sharrieff Shah.
Baker said Shah’s husband could be off the hook to pay the recovery fee because the government could pursue “marital property”.
Even if Shah and her husband divorce, Baker said he would still have to pay the dues “because these are now accrued during the marriage.”
Why did her RHOSLC co-star tell her not to stay on the show?
RHOSLC co-star Meredith Marks called Shah’s decision to stay on the show “brave” because one false comment could implicate her.
“It’s just very risky [to stay on the show] because whether you’re guilty or not, it’s so easy to say something that could incriminate you,” Marks said #NoFilter with Zack Peter podcast.
She continued, “And I just find it kind of scary. I mean, I think it’s really brave that she stayed. I do. I don’t think I could do that under the circumstances.”
Marks distanced herself amid the allegations from Shah but said that’s not why she told Shah they couldn’t be friends.
“It wasn’t because I wanted to support her or not,” Marks said on the podcast.
“I couldn’t even process what was happening to her because I could barely deal with what I was dealing with in my own world at that moment,” she added.
A source told PEOPLE in July that RHOSLC producers wanted to continue Shah’s story by keeping her on the show.
This case is “a very big part of Jen’s story,” the source said.
“The producers don’t want us to stop following her now. They will film with her for as long as they can.”
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/4891032/jen-shah-trial-rhoslc-news/ RHOSLC: Why is Jen Shah on trial?