Jen Shah, a star on “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” changed her plea to guilty of one count of wire fraud in a nationwide telemarketing scheme.
Jen appeared in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday (July 11) in front of U.S. District Court Judge Sidney Stein around 10:30 a.m. and entered into an agreement with federal prosecutors, changing her plea to guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
She agreed to forfeit $6.5 million and pay up to $9.5 million in restitution while facing up to 14 years in prison.
Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement following the plea:
Jennifer Shah was a key participant in a nationwide scheme that targeted elderly, vulnerable victims.
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.
Jen’s attorney, Priya Chaudhry, said her client pleaded guilty “because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.
Ms. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line. She 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.
According to prosecutors and court filings, since 2012, Jen and others sold so-called “business services” to the alleged victims, including website design services to elderly people who didn’t own computers.
They also identified and sold as “leads” the names of people who, prosecutors allege, they knew would be defrauded by others involved in the alleged scheme.
Prosecutors said Jen personally oversaw a sales floor and supervised salespeople who lied to the victims of the scheme.
Reportedly, Jen tried to hide her role in the fraud by using encrypted messaging apps, placing companies in the name of family and others, and setting up an offshore bank account and business operations in Kosovo.
Her husband is Sharriefff Shah, the University of Utah cornerback and special teams football coach.
Jen also underreported her income on tax returns for several years.
Prosecutors say Jen spent the money from the fraud on her extravagant lifestyle, as portrayed on the show.
Jen Shah admitted that she “agreed with others to commit wire fraud” and “knew it misled” victims, 10 of whom were over the age of 55.
She said in court that she “knew it was wrong, many people were harmed, and I’m sorry.”
In April 2021, she pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to her new plea agreement, the money laundering charge will be dropped.
She was arrested while Bravo was filming the second season of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
During that time she consistently claimed she was innocent.
So much so that she stated in a tagline for show promos that, “the only thing I’m guilty of is being Shah-mazing.”
Jen’s sentencing is scheduled for November 28.
Watch the ET video below: