Things just got real for one of the “Real Housewives.”
Federal prosecutors allege that Shah and her alleged assistant Stuart Smith, are key members of a long-running telemarking scam that involved selling lists of innocent individuals’ information to other members of her complicated scheme. Shah was reportedly arrested on Tuesday, March 30, in Salt Lake City. Smith, who also appeared with Shah on “RHOSLC,” was also indicted for the same alleged scheme.
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“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,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement via WNBC.
The NYPD claims that Shah’s victims number in the “hundreds” and that she allegedly ran the scam for over 12 years up until this month.
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Shah’s Bravo bio says that she is “the CEO of three marketing companies,” but authorities allege that she is actually the mastermind behind a complicated scheme to generate lists of people and then sell them to telemarketing companies. Those telemarketing companies would try to sell business services to the victims, whom many are over 55.
Shah and Smith would allegedly receive a portion of the allegedly fraudulent revenue generated by the scam. The fraud conspiracy charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
The fans and her Salt Lake City co-stars were confused by her “job,” and Jen did her best to explain it during last month’s reunion special. “My background is in direct response marketing for about 20 years, so our company does advertising. We have a platform that helps people acquire customers, so when you’re shopping online or on the Internet, and something pops, we have the algorithm behind why you’re getting served that ad,” she said according to a Bravo recap. Cast member Heather Gay confessed to not knowing what Jen’s job description meant, so you are not alone.
Jen has been involved in a lot of drama recently. Audio that allegedly featured the “RHOSLC” star having a meltdown surfaced online earlier this month. In the clip, a woman who allegedly sounded like Jen could be heard screaming and cursing at the people around her. It was believed to have been recorded around the time of the “RHOSLC” reunion. Shortly after, her lawyer reportedly fired off a cease and desist letter.