By now, you've likely heard that Jen Shah from the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City was recently arrested and charged with fraud. On Tuesday, Shah and one of her assistants, Stuart Smith, were arrested for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to Variety, Shah was arrested while the cast was filming Season 2 of RHOSLC.
Based on an anonymous tip from the Instagram account @twojudgeygirls, Variety was able to confirm that the cast was filming the Bravo series on Tuesday. The cast was about to embark on a trip to Colorado when Shah suddenly said that there was an emergency situation with her husband that would make her unable to go on the outing. She then left the scene. Shortly after Shah left, federal law enforcement stormed the production looking for the Real Housewife. They later found her and she was subsequently arrested. While the cameras were rolling on Tuesday, it's unclear if these events were actually caught on camera.
It has been alleged that Shah, Smith, and others ran a telemarketing scheme that apparently defrauded individuals by selling "lead lists" for business opportunities that were nonexistent. Manhattan U.S. attorney Audrey Strauss released a statement about Shah's arrest, which stated, "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." The statement continued, 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." Variety did reach out to Shah's representatives for a statement, to which they said, "At this time, we have no comment."
Shah and Smith were allegedly a part of this scheme since 2012. They were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The first charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years while the latter has a maximum sentence of 20 years. On Friday, Shah pleaded not guilty to these charges. Her attorneys stated that their client "maintains her innocence of these charges and is eager to defend herself in a court of law."