The Bravo community was rocked on Tuesday when it was reported Jen Shah from The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City was arrested for fraud. The reality star is being accused of running a telemarketing scheme for the past nine years with her alleged accomplice, assistant Stuart Smith. Over two months before her arrest, Shah spoke with PopCulture.com about her time on RHOSLC. She also opened up about her businesses, a topic that fans may want to revisit in light of this shocking news.
Shah explained to PopCulture.com that she studied at the University of Utah and went on to have a career in the marketing space. She noted how she was involved in "direct response marketing" shortly after college and worked in "corporate America." Eventually, she decided to branch out on her own, explaining that she "started a marketing company" and that she has "three different marketing companies."
She said: "And how I ended up with three different ones is, I was consulting for two other companies. And then when they got bought out the new companies brought me on as an owner to continue growth within the company. So, that's really my core business is direct response marketing and data monetization."
Shah added how she then branched out into different areas such as fashion and beauty. The reality star also explained that one of her goals was to give back to female entrepreneurs and those who were having a hard time during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "We have different e-commerce packages where we really give back and help female entrepreneurs, helping them start their online business," Shah said. "And we've focused a lot on that with the pandemic because a lot of people are out of a job. So through all of that, really, that's my journey, is really my businesses and my success with business and is kind of where I've carved out my niche within the direct response industry. And from there I've just been blessed to have a lot of success."
Of course, and as previously mentioned, this interview took place a little over two months before Shah and her assistant, Smith, were arrested in Utah on Tuesday. According to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the special agent in charge of the New York field office of Homeland Security, and the commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Shah and Smith were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection to telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Manhattan U.S. District Attorney Audrey Strauss said that if they are convicted, they could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the fraud conspiracy charge.