Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah has been arrested for allegedly running a nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme.
On Tuesday, March 30, the U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York announced the reality star, 47, and her first assistant Stuart Smith, 43, were taken into police custody on two charges each: conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
In a press release, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss addressed Shah's alleged crimes in a statement, claiming the Bravo housewife and her assistant "allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists' of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam" from 2012 until March 2021.
Strauss added that Shah, Smith and their co-conspirators, who are not named, were allegedly "motivated by greed, to steal victims' money," most of whom were over the age of 55.
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh described how the reality star and her assistant "flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success.'" However, Fitzhugh claimed, "In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people."
In addition to selling these lists of "leads," Shah and Smith allegedly took "significant efforts to conceal their roles" in the scheme. The investigators claimed they used measures such as using third party names on official documents, used encrypted apps to communicate and created offshore bank accounts.
If convicted, Shah and Smith each face up to 50 years in prison.
Shah and Smith are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, March 30. They did not return E! News' request for comment and have not entered a plea.
The wife of University of Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah became a popular figure after appearing on the inaugural season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. During her time on the show, she hosted extravagant parties and sported flashy ensembles, but often butted heads with the five other women on the cast.
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