Real Housewives' Jen Shah Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud Charges After Arrest

During a virtual arraignment, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah officially entered her plea following her arrest on March 31. Scroll on for more details on the legal case.

By Jess Cohen Apr 02, 2021 4:47 PMTags
Watch: "Real Housewives" Star Jen Shah Arrested for Telemarketing Scheme

Three days after Jen Shah was arrested by federal authorities, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star officially entered her plea.

The 47-year-old TV personality and her first assistant Stuart Smith, 43, were taken into custody on March 31 for their alleged involvement in a nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme. The two were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

On April 2, both Jen and Stuart pleaded not guilty to the charges during a virtual arraignment. Jen is also required to put up $1 million bond as the judge stated, "There is a risk of flight here. It's not insubstantial. I'm going to release her on the following conditions: I am going to require a personal recognizance bond of $1 million. I am going to required $250,000 to secure that bond in cash or property."

The judge also stated Jen will have one week to comply.

Attorneys for the Bravolebrity told E! News in a statement, "Jennifer Shah is a wife, mother, and lifelong resident of the Salt Lake City area. She maintains her innocence of these charges, and is eager to defend herself in a court of law. She puts her faith in the American legal system. Because of the ongoing legal proceedings, we ask that you respect her privacy, and understand she will not provide any further comments."

Following the arrests in late March, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss shed some light on the case.

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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," she said in a press release following Jen and Stuart's arrests. "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."

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Bravo cameras were rolling as Jen was taken into custody on Tuesday. 

As one insider told E! News, "A crew with RHOSLC was outside the courtroom capturing it all for the show. The bulk of the crew is with the rest of the cast in Colorado."

Jen's co-stars are understandably shocked by the revelation, with a separate source explaining, "The other Housewives are just finding out about this. Many of them had questions about Jen's business, but no one saw these arrests coming."

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Kyle Richards and Teddi Mellencamp are equally as invested in the legal drama. For their reaction to the news, click here

If they're convicted, both Jen and Stuart each face up to 50 years in prison. 

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)