In a shocking twist, Jen Shah has pled guilty to massive fraud! 48-year-old Jen of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City appeared in a federal court in Manhattan this morning for a surprise hearing, switching her previous “not guilty” plea to “GUILTY”. Wow. I really didn’t see that coming. I mean, the woman’s guiltier than a Disney villain (see: her reunion look homage to Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove in the header pic), but, since her arrest last March, she’s adamantly proclaimed her innocence. Hell, she was selling Not Guilty and #FreeJenShah merch on Instagram! I figured she’d keep that shit up during her trial, which was scheduled for July 18. But perhaps the prospect of facing 50 years in prison scared her, or she ran out of money to pay her lawyers, or she finally realized the feds’ case was too damning. Especially since her former assistant/partner in grift, Stuart Smith, pled guilty last year. Whatever the reason, Jen’s new plea agreement calls for just 11 to 14 years behind bars and restitution of up to $9.5 million. Shine on, you crazy scam queen.
Jen’s official charges were conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Today U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein agreed to drop the money laundering charge, but Jen pled guilty to the wire fraud part, via TIME:
“From 2012 to March 2021, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, I agreed with others to commit wire fraud,” Shah said in court. “I did this by knowingly providing customer names to people who were marketing business services that had little or no value… I knew this was wrong. I know many people were harmed and I am so sorry.”
Sentencing will take place in November. One of Jen’s lawyers told People:
“Ms. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line,” an attorney for the reality star, 48, told PEOPLE. “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. Jen pled guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.”
Um, “good woman”? “Crossed a line”? She stole from hundreds of elderly people by selling “lead lists” (names/info of “easy targets”) to other telemarketer grifters. These grifters would scam the elderly out of their money, and Jen would get a cut of the profits. That’s straight-up villainess behavior. Especially since she played the “wrongfully accused” card on reality TV. On RHOSLC’s second season reunion, Jen said that she would fight the charges because she was innocent and “I’m going to f–king represent every other person out there that can’t fight and hasn’t been able to.” Snort.
Here’s more info from the hearing:
No comment or statement from Jen Shah as she leaves the courthouse after entering guilty plea on federal telemarketing fraud charge on Monday morning. pic.twitter.com/0J0YwqQRwl
— JOSH RUSSELL (@jruss_jruss) July 11, 2022
A few days ago, Jen and the other Salt Lake City Housewives were spotted filming the show’s third season in New York City (where she also pled guilty… tacked it on to the end of the trip!):
— Queens of Bravo (@queensofbravo) July 7, 2022
Ipso scammo, RHOSLC’s third season will cover the before and after of Jen’s guilty plea! Hey, ya gotta give it to the woman, she’s going out in a blaze of glory; wringing every drop of insane reality drama out of her crimes before she’s shipped off to the big house. In a way, Jen Shah might be the most brilliant casting choice Bravo ever made. In another way, Andy Cohen is for sure going to hell (and I’ll see him there!).