NBC News reports:
Jen Shah, the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star charged with running a nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme, pleaded guilty in federal court Monday morning, reversing her previous plea.
In front of Judge Sidney Stein shortly after 10:30 a.m., Shah entered into an agreement with federal prosecutors, changing her plea to guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
She faces a sentence of up to 14 years in prison and agreed to forfeit $6.5 million and to pay restitution up to $9.5 million. Shah, 48, said in court she “knew it was wrong, many people were harmed and I’m so sorry.”
The Daily Beast reports:
The agreement brings an end to Shah’s decade-long theft of millions off the backs of those who are “vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people,” said Homeland Security Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh in March.
Shah, who faced charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering through telemarketing, was scheduled to begin trial next week. Now, her plea deal convicts her only of wire fraud—ending the possibility of a 50-year prison sentence she could’ve faced if convicted on both charges at trial.
The feds say Shah worked with her assistant Stuart Smith—who pleaded guilty in November—to orchestrate an elaborate telemarketing campaign that collected money over the phone but provided no services.
Jen Shah leaves court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud pic.twitter.com/8Pq3H5QedF
— Ben Feuerherd (@benfeuerherd) July 11, 2022
Judge Stein: Ms. Shah, what did you do?
Shah: Wire fraud, offering services with little to no value. We used interstate telephones and emails. I knew many of the purchasers were over the age of 55. I am so sorry.
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) July 11, 2022
As a result of her guilty plea, Jen Shah will have to pay $15.5 million and could spend up to 30 years in prison.https://t.co/XVbjG8Ypoh
— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) July 11, 2022