Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah has been arrested and charged with running an extensive telemarketing fraud program, the Justice Department said Tuesday. Shah faces charges alongside her assistant, Stuart Smith, who was also featured in the reality TV franchise’s inaugural season.
Shah and Smith have been charged with telemarketing-related conspiracy to commit cable fraud and money laundering conspiracy for allegedly selling “lead lists” for non-existent business opportunities.
The indictment alleges that the two of them ran the program from at least 2012, in which they “created lead lists for use by their telemarketing sales floors and sold them to other participants, knowing that the people they considered” Leads “identified the other participants as being cheated.” The program included the sale of services designed to help victims manage their online businesses and make them more profitable. In reality, the “services” would offer little or no value to the victims’ businesses, “the indictment stated.
The couple are accused of cheating on hundreds of victims, the Justice Department said.
“Shah and Smith displayed their lavish lifestyles to the public as a symbol of their ‘success’. In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyles at the expense of vulnerable, often older, workers,” Homeland Security Investigations’ special envoy Peter Fitzhugh said in one Statement on Tuesday.
Shah’s lifestyle was featured prominently on Real Housewives. She threw extravagant parties, donned designer outfits, and employed a group of assistants to travel with her.
During the show’s first season, Shah was asked about her career.
“I run a lot of different businesses and businesses and many [my assistants] I have different roles in the company, “she said.” My background has been in direct response marketing for around 20 years, which is why our company does advertising. We have a platform that helps people acquire customers. So if you shop online or on the web and something shows up, we have the algorithm as to why that ad is shown. ”
Shah is not the first “housewife” to face legal problems. “Real Housewives of New Jersey” starand her then husband served time in jail for postal, wire and bankruptcy fraud after several seasons on the show.