Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's Jen Shah is facing a number of criminal charges over her alleged involvement in a telemarketing scheme.
The reality star was arrested on Tuesday (March 30) and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. One of her assistants, Stuart Smith, was also arrested.
The indictment from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York claims that, for the last eight years, Shah and Smith have run an enterprise that victimised older people by promising opportunities in non-existent business ventures.
It is alleged that they then passed on the names of those who had been willing to sign up to other people within the scheme so that they could be conned again.
A representative for Shah said: "At this time, we have no comment," while Smith's representatives have not yet commented.
Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a Department of Justice press release: "Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson 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.
"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."
Shah and Smith appeared in federal court yesterday, and are expected to appear at a virtual hearing scheduled for today (March 31).
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