"Real Housewives" star Jennifer Shah pleads guilty to wire fraud conspiracy
Jennifer Shah, star of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City," changed her plea to guilty in federal court Monday for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, court documents show.
Background: Shah was arrested in Salt Lake City last year in connection with a national telemarketing fraud scheme that targeted elderly victims.
- Federal prosecutors at the time accused her and her business partner Stuart Smith of carrying out "a wide-ranging telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of victims throughout the United States, many of whom were over the age of 55."
- She was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
- Prior to her arrest, Shah often showed off her lavish lifestyle on the Bravo television show and claimed she would spend $50,000 per month.
Details: Shah was set to begin her trial this month, but entered into a plea deal with federal prosecutors where she agreed to forfeit $6.5 million and pay up to $9.5 million in restitution to victims.
- She faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
What they're saying: "Shah was a key participant in a nationwide scheme that targeted elderly, vulnerable victims," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
- "These victims were sold false promises of financial security, but instead Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it."
- "Mrs. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line," her lawyer Priya Chaudhry said in a statement to ET. "She accepts full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed. Mrs. Shah is also sorry for disappointing her husband, children, family, friends, and supporters."
- Of note: Shah is married to University of Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah.
Flashback: Shah initially pleaded not guilty.
- Her storyline in Season 2 of RHOSLC focused on her fighting the charges.
What's next: Her sentencing hearing is slated for Nov. 28.
- Season 3 of RHOSLC is currently being filmed and is expected to premiere later this year, although no official date has been set.
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