In a shocking turn of events, Jen Shah has pleaded guilty in her infamous telemarketing scandal! The reality star who had earlier pleaded not guilty, appeared in a New York court hearing on Monday to change her plea.
Jen reportedly told judge Sidney H. Stein that she had committed ‘wire fraud, offering services with little to no value.’ Read on to know the full details of the shocking development.
Jen Can Face a Maximum Penalty of 30 Years in Prison
During the hearing, the 48 year old reality star further told the judge, “We used interstate telephones and emails. I knew many of the purchasers were over the age of 55. I am so sorry.”
On being asked about the reason behind the things being purchased, she claimed she had offered ‘misrepresentations, regarding the value of the product or service, of which it had little to none.’ The judge then asked if Jen knew it was wrong and illegal, to which she replied, “Yes, your Honor.”
Pleading guilty means that The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star would not be facing a trial now. She has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud connected to telemarketing and money laundering. With the charges pressed, she now faces a penalty of a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Shah Was Arrested in March 2021
The star was first arrested in March 2021, along with her assistant Stuart Smith, for allegedly targeting persons in a nationwide scheme.
At the time, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss had said in a press release, “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.”
“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,” he had further stated.
The Star Had Initially Pleaded Not Guilty
Both Shah and her assistant, Smith had initially pleaded not guilty in April 2021. Smith, however, later changed his plea to guilty in November of the same year. But Jen had maintained her plea of not guilty, until this Monday.
In August 2021, Jen’s attorneys even tried to get her charges dismissed, but the request was denied by a judge. In September, she had said during an Instagram live, “I think what people don’t understand is, here in America, you’re innocent until proven guilty. I’m innocent. And I believe that this is not just my test, this is everybody’s test close to me and in my corner.”
She further added, “How are my closest people around me going to respond, how are they going to show up or not show up.”
Shah has been a part of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City since the show’s inception in November 2020. Her connection to the telemarketing scandal formed a major plot in the second season of the show. A Hulu documentary was also produced based on the scandal titled The Housewife & the Shah Shocker.
What are your views about the reality TV star’s involvement in the scandal? Tell us in the comments section.