Jen Shah has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison following her arrest for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, Us Weekly can confirm.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star, 49, was sentenced to 78 months in prison with five years of supervised release on Friday, January 6, in a New York City courtroom. Judge Sidney Stein ordered her to report to prison on February 17.
At the hearing, Stein slammed Shah’s actions after her attorney Priya Chaudhry began listing the “good things” her client had recently done.
“What good things could she have been doing, calling elderly people and selling them business opportunities and they would max out their credit cards and get the person to put down an additional credit card and then upsell them for other products?” Stein asked, per NBC News. “If there is good in that I want to hear it.”
The judge also noted that he didn’t take Shah’s role on RHOSLC into account when deciding her sentence. “People should not confuse, and this court is not going to confuse, the character she plays on an entertainment show with the person I have before me,” he said. “The other is acting and this is reality.”
The reality star was arrested in March 2021 alongside assistant Stuart Smith. Shah, who initially pleaded not guilty, was accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
While filming RHOSLC, Shah claimed that she felt “wrongly accused” by authorities. “I don’t take this lightly,” she said during an episode in March. “It’s my life and more importantly, it’s my family’s life. I care about them more than anything. I don’t want my kids or my husband or my mom or my family affected by this and so I have to fight and I have to have faith in the justice system.”
Ahead of her trial, the Bravo personality changed her plea to guilty. “In 2012 to March 2021 in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere I agreed with others to commit wire fraud,” she said during a July court hearing in New York City. “I knew this was wrong. I knew many people were harmed and I’m so sorry.”
Shah also admitted to Stein that she knew her actions were “wrong and illegal.” After previously facing up to 30 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s office dropped the second charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
One month later, Shah’s attorney addressed her client’s decision to enter a guilty plea.
“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,” Chaudhry told Us Weekly in a July statement. “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.”
Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen weighed in on Shah’s future at the network before her sentencing. “She’s being sentenced on December 15, so I don’t know what to say to people who want her on the show,” Cohen, 54, exclusively told Us in November before the sentencing date was moved to January 6. “I hope that she gets no jail time whatsoever and she can come right back … but I have a feeling that she’s not going to be available to be on the show.”
He added: “Some people on Twitter were saying, ‘We want Jen next season.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, well, talk to the judge.'”
Ahead of Shah’s sentencing, several of her alleged victims sent impact statements to the judge requesting that “the punishment fit the crime.” A widow who enrolled in a tutoring program said she spent thousands of dollars and began experiencing depression that she thought could lead to suicide.
“The mental anguish is still with me, today, and the guilt I harbor from being so vulnerable and easy prey to such sharks, still swim in my mind,” she wrote in court documents obtained by Us. “I do not want the next person to suffer any of these mental anxieties, such as I have. What is normal? I do not know anymore.”
One person claimed they became homeless after accumulating more than $30,000 in debt thanks to telemarketing scams, while another victim alleged they lost more than $100,000 and had to remortgage their home.
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“You sounded sympathetic and convincing, so I trusted you,” the second victim wrote, directly addressing Shah. “I was such an idiot. The courts may have some form of punishment for the lawless activities that have been committed, but even when you have served your due punishment, whatever that may be, our God and heavenly creator of all things will be the one, in the long run, who you will truly have to answer to.”
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