Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty in her federal telemarketing fraud case. The Bravo personality, 49, pleaded guilty in July 2022 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was ordered to forfeit $6.5 million. Shah, who initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against her, was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims of the nationwide telemarketing scheme that prosecutors said targeted elderly, vulnerable victims.
While federal prosecutors had requested Shah to serve 10 years in prison, the RHOSLC star's defense countered that she should serve no more than three years, as she is "a good woman who crossed a line." Shah's defense attorney, Priya Chaudhry, said in a statement at the time, "[Shah] 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."
Federal prosecutors argued that Shah had not shown any signs of remorse, and continued to behave badly after her March 2021 arrest. "Despite the defendant's best efforts, she got caught. She then went on a public offensive and tried to profit off the charges by selling 'Justice for Jen' merchandise," prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memorandum. "She pled guilty at the eleventh hour, only after receiving the Government's trial exhibits and witness statements. In light of her conduct and her post-arrest behavior, her belated expressions of remorse ring hollow."
Shah's defense has argued throughout court proceedings that Shah is simply playing a character for reality television when it comes to her flamboyant behavior. "Just as Jen Shah has never been a 'housewife,' little else is real about her persona and caricature as portrayed by the editors of RHOSLC," her defense team argued. "The effigy of Jen Shah portrayed in the RHOSLC has no bearing on who she is, whatsoever, and should not enter this Court's calculus in fashioning an appropriate sentence for the real Jen Shah."