Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jennifer Shah is in hot water following her arrest in connection with a nationwide money-laundering scheme.
The Bravolebrity, 47, and her assistant, Stuart Smith, 43, were arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Tuesday, March 30, according to a press release shared by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York. Shah and Smith have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money-laundering, the new statement revealed.
“Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television, and 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,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, claiming the duo had an ulterior motive with their alleged actions.
“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,” claimed Strauss. “Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes.”
The allegations in the indictment say Shah and Smith, as well as others, defrauded hundreds of victims across America, many of whom were over age 55, by selling those individuals “business services” that would be beneficial to their specific online gigs and more. Court papers state many of their alleged targets were elderly and did not own a computer.
“As alleged, Shah and Smith objectified their very real human victims as ‘leads’ to be bought and sold, offering their personal information for sale to other members of their fraud ring,” added HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh.
Prosecutors believe Shah and Smith “undertook significant efforts to conceal their roles” in the scam, including using encrypted messaging applications and making cash withdrawals “to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements.”
Shah, who is married to Sharrieff Shah, reportedly has a net worth of $3 million. Aside from her reality TV job, she’s done marketing work and is the CEO and founder of three companies— JXA Fashion, Shah Beauty and The Real Shah Lashes.
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