When Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premiered, Jen Shah quickly became one of the stand-out stars. But if there’s anything reality TV has taught us, it’s how quickly someone can go from fame to infamy (remember Teresa Giudice’s abrupt shift from starring in The Real Housewives of New Jersey to getting featured in articles about her stay in prison?).
Now Jen has become one of the most recent oh-no-she-didn’t Real Housewives cautionary tales. Learn how Shah went from Real Housewives fame to infamy in a single day…plus did the Bravo cameras succeed in capturing her crimes and the actual moment when she got caught?
What Did Jen Shah Do To Potentially Land In Prison?
Jen’s journey from primping for the Bravo cameras to hiding from federal charges began on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. The 47-year-old Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star was arrested on allegations that she conspired to commit both money laundering and wire fraud.
Also arrested was Stuart Smith, 43, an assistant to Shah who co-started on the Real Housewives curries. Both Stuart and Shah allegedly were involved in a telemarketing scheme that targeted older individuals.
In a lengthy press release, Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), unveiled the indictment charging both Jen and Stuart.
“Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful business person on ‘reality’ television, and Stuart Smith, who is portrayed as Shah’s ‘first assistant,’ allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam,” said Strauss. “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. Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes.”
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh slammed both Smith and Shah for showing off their “lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success.’ In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.”
And the allegations didn’t stop there. The federal agents also alleged that the two Real Housewives stars “objectified their very real human victims as ‘leads’ to be bought and sold, offering their personal information for sale to other members of their fraud ring.”
View this post on Instagram
What Did Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Cameras Capture?
An insider revealed that Jen was actually in the process of filming an episode of the Real Housewives when she was arrested.
“The cast left for a trip to Vail on Tuesday, including Jen,” said the source. “She was filming.”
As for how much time Shah and Smith potentially face in prison, the charges include:
● one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing through which they allegedly victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55, which comes with a maximum sentence of 30 years
● one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Will Jen Shah Remain On Real Housewives?
Given that Jen’s not the first Bravo TV star to face allegations that could land her in jail, the Bravo TV producers apparently have not yet decided whether to cut her appearance on the show.
Jen seems untroubled by her situation, using the hashtag “#unbothered” on a recent Instagram pic.
Shah continues to have her bio on the Bravo TV site. The background describes Jen as “the queen of her house and her businesses as the CEO of three marketing companies. Always decked out in designer brands, Jen loves to host parties and spares no expense – it’s important to her that everyone knows she is the best host in Utah.”
Now we know what’s allegedly behind those “three marketing companies” that allowed Shah to be “always decked out in designer brands.” Will Bravo exploit Jen’s infamy or use her as a cautionary tale? Check back with us to find out the answer!