‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ Star Jen Shah Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
Jen Shah has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In a surprise move, in a New York federal court Monday (July 11) the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star pleaded guilty to running a multi-state telemarketing scam.
"I knew this was wrong. I know many people were harmed, and I am so sorry," she told the judge, according to the New York Post.
She added she was aware that she took advantage by targeting the elderly and that what she purported to offer as part of her business scheme was of "little to no value" to her victims.
"I knew many of the purchasers were over the age of 55. I am so sorry," she said, according to People.
Shah admitted she took part in the criminal activity between 2012 and 2021.
The Real Housewives celebrity and her assistant Stuart Smith were arrested in March 2021. While they both initially pleaded not guilty, Smith changed his story and pleaded guilty in November 2021.
Shah faces up to 30 years in prison for her crime. The New York Post notes she will not be sentenced until late November.
Shah will not stand trial in light of her guilty plea.
A member of Shah's legal team commented on the development in a statement shared with People.
"[Shah] accepts full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed," Priya Chaudhry said. "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.
Chaudhry described her client as "a good woman who crossed a line."
Up until today, Shah continued to claim she had not committed any crime.
Shah is not the only star from the Real Housewives franchise who has faced legal issues.
Teresa Giudice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey pleaded guilty to fraud charges in 2014 and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, according to E! News.
Meanwhile, Erika Jayne of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has been accused of embezzlement. BuzzFeed News notes she was named in a lawsuit stemming from allegations against her estranged husband Tom Girardi. Girardi was disbarred in 2021.
Other stars from the Real Housewives franchise who have been arrested include Kim Richards, NeNe Leakes, Brandi Glanville and Porsha Williams, according to People.