Real Housewives of Salt Lake City cast member Jen Shah was sentenced to 78 months in prison Friday after the reality TV star previously pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Shah faced up to 10 years in prison for her role in a telemarketing scheme accused of defrauding elderly people of millions of dollars, all while Shah flaunted her wealth and affluence on the Utah offshoot of the popular Bravo franchise. Shah’s lawyers were seeking a three-year sentence, with U.S. District Court Judge Sidney Stein ultimately splitting the difference with a six-and-a-half years prison term.
Shah will have six weeks of freedom before she must report to the Bureau of Prisons on Feb. 17, NBC News reported.
“Jennifer Shah was a key participant in a nationwide scheme that targeted elderly, vulnerable victims,” Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, previously said in a statement.
“These victims were sold false promises of financial security, but instead, Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it. This Office is committed to rooting out these schemes whatever form they take.”
The wife of the University of Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah — who in his position makes a good salary but not Housewives money — Shah was charged with federal counts of wire fraud and money laundering in March 2021, with her arrest (and Shah’s subsequent legal issues) a featured storyline during the second season of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
“Shah and [her “assistant” and co-conspirator Stuart Smith] flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success,’” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter Fitzhugh said at the time of Shah’s arrest.
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“In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.”
Shah’s family was reportedly unaware of the scheme and were not charged. Shah is the latest Real Housewives franchise star to have their on-screen legal issues result in actual hard time: Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Guidice spent nearly a year behind bars in 2016 after pleading guilty to fraud. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Erika Jayne, while not facing criminal charges, has been embroiled in the litigious mess left by her ex-husband Tom Girardi, a lawyer charged with embezzling clients’ settlements, including the families of a 2018 plane crash.