LOCAL NEWS

‘Real Housewives’ Star Jen Shah Arrested, Charged In Fraud Scheme

Mar 30, 2021, 1:22 PM | Updated: 11:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Authorities on Tuesday arrested one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” in connection to a telemarketing fraud scheme.

According to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office, Jen Shah, 47, of Park City, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Officials also arrested Shah’s assistant, Stuart Smith, 43, of Lehi.

“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,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement. “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.”

According to the allegations in an indictment, Shah and Smith, as well as an unspecified number of other participants, carried out a wide-ranging telemarketing scheme that reportedly defrauded hundreds of victims across the U.S.

The scheme involved allegedly selling lists of potential victims who had made initial investments in creating an online business, and it had operations in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New York and New Jersey, according to the Department of Justice.

According to the indictment, the alleged fraud conspiracy began in 2012 and led up to March 2021.

“Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success,’” according to Peter C. Fitzhugh, Homeland Security Investigations special agent in charge. “In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.”

In her Bravo TV “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” profile, Shah identifies herself as the “queen of her house and her businesses as the CEO of three marketing companies.”

The first season of the reality show finished airing in February, and the network recently announced it is renewing “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” for a second season.

Shah is married to University of Utah football coach Sharrieff Shah.

KSL-TV found Shah’s listed address through public documents. The home listed on the address was built in 2020, and Shah is not listed as an owner. The home is valued at $20 million dollars, according to tax documents.

Bravo TV told KSL-TV they have “no comment” on the charges, and said they haven’t announced the casting of Season Two of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

KSL’s Morgan Wolfe was told by sources close to the show that Shah is a part of Season Two and crews were filming her this morning. Shah was active on her Instagram page posting stories about her hair and makeup in the morning before she was arrested.

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‘Real Housewives’ Star Jen Shah Arrested, Charged In Fraud Scheme