Jen Shah’s fraud case is set to be a major storyline on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 3.
The series, which also features stars like Heather Gay, Whitney Rose, Lisa Barlow and Meredith Marks, is back for its highly-anticipated third installment.
Shah and Smith were allegedly involved in a fraud operation that involved a telemarketing scheme that defrauded “hundreds” of people, many over the age of 55, by selling “lead lists” for fictitious business opportunities.
After her arrest Shah said several times on the show that she was innocent, but she has since pleaded guilty to the charges.
Newsweek has everything you need to know about Jen Shah’s fraud case and what she has said about it.
What Has Real Housewives of Salt Lake City‘s Jen Shah Pleaded Guilty To?
Newsweek previously reported that Shah pleaded guilty to charges on July 11 for her connection to an alleged telemarketing scheme, and now faces several years in prison.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, Shah “pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing through which she victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.”
The reality star also “agreed to forfeit $6.5 million and to pay restitution up to $9.5 million” as part of her guilty plea, per the press release.
Shah originally pleaded not guilty and was set for trial on July 18. She is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein on November 28.
What Has Real Housewives of Salt Lake City‘s Jen Shah Said About the Case?
Throughout the second of half of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 2, after her arrest, Shah said she was “innocent.” In one scene with her husband, Sharrieff Shah, she said: “I am innocent. I did not do any of those things.”
Then, during The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 2 reunion, which aired on Bravo in March 2022, Shah told host Andy Cohen that she was “innocent.”
She said: “I’m fighting this, I’m innocent. I will fight this for every person out there that can’t fight for themselves because they don’t have the resources or the means, so they don’t fight.
“I will fight because number one, I’m innocent, and number two I’m going to f***ing represent every other person out there that can’t fight and hasn’t been able to. I just hope we can do better in the future and not judge people.”
Cohen then asked her if he would see her again for a Season 3 reunion and she said: “Of course. I ain’t going nowhere.”
Then, after she pleaded guilty in July 2022, Shah’s lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, said in a statement sent to Newsweek: “Ms. Shah 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. Jen pled guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.”
Shah again discusses her ongoing legal battle in the dramatic trailer for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 3, which premiered September 28.
In the footage, the star says she “got played by Stuart Smith,” her former assistant who was arrested alongside her in March 2021, adding: “I would not be in this thing at all if it wasn’t for Stuart.”
After Shah’s guilty plea, People reported that the case was “a very big part of Jen’s story” for Season 3, adding: “Producers don’t want us to stop following it now. They’ll keep filming with her as long as they can, just like they did with Teresa [Giudice].”
E! later reported the show had finished filming prior to Shah’s plea, but recommenced to capture new footage, including reactions from Shah’s co-stars.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 3 is scheduled to air on Bravo on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET. The previous two seasons are available to stream on Peacock.
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