“Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah has entered a plea of not guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering in relation to an alleged scam that possibly preyed on “hundreds” of victims.
Shah was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to NBC New York, and pleaded not guilty to both charges.
According to Paper magazine’s Evan Ross Katz, the judge declared Shah to be a “flight risk,” and set bail at $1 million, requiring $250,000 “to secure that bond in cash or property.” Shah was given one week to comply.
Judge: "There is a risk of flight here. It's not insubstantial. I'm going to release her on the following conditions: I am going to require a personal recognizance bond of $1M. I am going to required $250K to secure that bond in cash or property. She will have 1 week to comply."
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) April 2, 2021
Shah allegedly ran a “fraudulent” telemarketing scheme from 2012 until this month.
The reality TV personality was arrested in Salt Lake City on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, her “Real Housewives” co-star Stuart Smith has also been indicted in the alleged scheme.
“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,” explained Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement shared with NBC New York.
“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.”
Discussing how she makes her money during an episode of “RHOSC”, Shah once said, “My background is in direct response marketing for about 20 years, so our company does advertising.”
She added, “We have a platform that helps people acquire customers, so when you’re shopping online or on the Internet, and something pops, we have the algorithm behind why you’re getting served that ad.”
Shah could be facing up to three decades in prison, with the fraud conspiracy charge carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years.