If you’re a Real Housewives fan, you know what a huge deal this is: yesterday Salt Lake City cast member/Season 1 villain Jen Shah got arrested and indicted by the feds for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. The charges allege that since 2012, Jen, her assistant Stuart Smith (STU CHAINZ!), and others ran a telemarketing scheme that scammed older people by selling “lead lists” for nonexistent business opportunities. And here we were thinking Erika Girardi would be the next Housewife to get popped for swindling innocents!
The Department of Justice released this statement (via Variety):
“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. Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes.”
Here’s the full statement:
— Ben Winslow (@BenWinslow) March 30, 2021
So I think what they’re saying is that Jen scammed older people, then sold their contact info to other scammers (in a “this person is an easy target” kind of way) so they could be scammed again. Scams, scams, scams. Page Six says Jen could serve up to thirty years in prison if she’s convicted.
On The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City reunion, 47-year-old Jen tried to explain her job and how it affords her lavish lifestyle, multiple homes, designer threads, offices, and ten assistants (whom she referred to as “the Shah Squad”), but her explanation was super confusing.
Word is that Jen was filming the second season of the show (YES! CAMERAS!) when she got word the feds were after her. A source says that she and the other Housewives were on a bus headed to Vail, Colorado for a girls trip, and Jen received a phone call from her husband, Sharrief Shah. He allegedly told her the feds had shown up at their home and they were on their way to arrest her. Jen told the ladies her husband was in the hospital, and she had to leave. So she got picked up by her aunt, and the feds arrested her while she was fleeing (?) in her aunt’s vehicle. Here’s that gossip:
— John (@FairyKateOlsen) March 31, 2021
Jen has been released for now (to keep filming, I hope!), but she’s in big shit. She was papped outside Utah District Court following her arrest, in full glam:
— Reality Von (Tea)se ☕️🫖 (@realityvontease) March 30, 2021
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City only premiered last November, but the off-show Jen controversies have been fast and furious. There was the time she went on Instagram Live and compared her drama on the Housewives to George Floyd being murdered (note: Jen is not Black, she is Polynesian-American), and there have been multiple leaked videos/audio clips of her verbally abusing her staff.
If you want a taste of Jen, here’s a compilation of her various freakouts including (but not limited to) her smashing her drink, splashing bathwater on production cameras, threatening to kill Whitney twice, and her own bodyguard having to restrain her. A real class act, this one:
Man, I can’t believe we all thought grandpa-marrying cult leader Mary Cosby was gonna be this show’s most controversial cast member. Sigh. So naive!