Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah and her assistant plead not guilty to fraud


Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah does not own the $4million home she boasts about on the reality TV show, her attorneys revealed on Friday as she pleaded not guilty to fraud and was given a week to come up with $250,000 in bond or go to jail. 

Shah is facing up to 30 years in prison for allegedly defrauding elderly people via a telemarketing scheme which New York prosecutors say went on for nine years. She was arrested in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.

Originally, she didn’t have to post bond but on Friday, federal prosecutors said that was a mistake and that she was a flight risk because of how severe the maximum sentence is that she faces. 

They asked the judge to make Shah sign a $1million personal recognizance bond and put up $250,000 in cash or property.  

Her lawyers fought it, saying she shouldn’t have to put up any cash or property.

The judge asked if she owned any property that she could use as security and her attorney said: ‘I don’t believe she owns a home, she is renting a house.

‘I don’t believe she has any real property.’ 

On Friday, prosecutors described the scheme which involved her and Smith selling lists of elderly targets to telemarketing firms who then pushed ‘business services’ like tax preparation or website design services on them, even though many did not have a computer. The telemarketers would then, according to prosecutors, make it difficult for people to get refunds for the services if they complained. 

The pair made more than $5million from one of the schemes, according to prosecutors. 

Jen Shah visited her hair stylist on Thursday, a day before appearing virtually before a judge to plead not guilty to fraud. This is what the stylist said on Instagram 

Shah, 47, didn't look the least bit stressed before her plea hearing. She is facing 30 years in prison

Shah, 47, didn’t look the least bit stressed before her plea hearing. She is facing 30 years in prison

Shah's home in Park City, which she boasted about on the show. She doesn't own it and it is currently listed for sale at $4million

Shah’s home in Park City, which she boasted about on the show. She doesn’t own it and it is currently listed for sale at $4million 

The five-bedroom home has an outdoor hot tub that Shah has filmed scenes in for the show

The five-bedroom home has an outdoor hot tub that Shah has filmed scenes in for the show

The home boasts a fireplace and open plan living room

The home boasts a fireplace and open plan living room

Shah and Smith are said to have gotten the elderly people’s names from sales floors all over the country and sold them to telemarketers in New York, where they have been charged. 

Shah, 47, was released earlier this week in Salt Lake City on the condition that she does not contact her assistant and co-defendant.  

Shah, 47, appears in the most recent series of Bravo's Real Housewives franchise in Salt Lake City

Shah, 47, appears in the most recent series of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise in Salt Lake City

‘I don t believe they own any real property.’

The judge said there was she was a flight risk and gave her a week to come up with the money or go to jail before her trial.  

On the Bravo show, Shah boast about her home – which she calls ‘Shah Chalet’ – and regularly films scenes in it. 

The five bedroom home is owned by a Texas real estate investment company. 

Friday’s hearing was done via video-conference for the defendants, attorneys and judge but the media and public were only allowed to dial-in for the audio. 

Earlier in the week, Shah herself could not dial in because so many people had dialed in to listen.  

On the Bravo show in which she appears, Shah boasts about spending $50,000-a-month and living in the mountain home which she calls ‘Shah Chalet’. Her husband Sharrieff Shah is a coach for the Utah Utes football team. 

During Friday’s hearing, prosecutors said Shah had turned over her passport, but it is expired. 

‘It’s not clear to the government or to Miss Shah whether she will remain a public figure, but if she does, this is a crime that carries a very, very significant potential penalty. 

Shah and her husband, Utah Utes football coach Sharieff Shah, on the Bravo show

Shah and her husband, Utah Utes football coach Sharieff Shah, on the Bravo show

Shah's assistant Stuart Smith is also charged in the indictment. He is shown on Tuesday

Shah’s assistant Stuart Smith is also charged in the indictment. He is shown on Tuesday 

‘The guidelines associated alone are extremely high, the government’s view is that notwithstanding her current public persona, given her resources and what she is soon to realize is a very significant potential prison appearance… at the very least she should be required to post a modest cash security in light of that. 

‘The government’s position is that [the bond] is modest. The defendant had access to 20 times that by virtue of the account maintained by Mr. Smith,’ prosecutor Audrey Strauss said. 

In the recent reunion episode of the show, she boasted to her co-stars about her business, describing it as an algorithm her company makes for advertising. 

Announcing the charges earlier this week, Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said: ‘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.’ 

Bravo has not yet commented on Shah's arrest or if she will appear on the next season of the show

Bravo has not yet commented on Shah’s arrest or if she will appear on the next season of the show



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