‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ cast member Jennifer Shah has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in a case Telemarketing scam case.
Shah, 49 years old Admission of guilt in July 2022 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was ordered to forfeit $6.5 million after previously pleading not guilty. It also has to pay compensation to victims of a nationwide telemarketing scheme that plaintiffs said targeted elderly and vulnerable victims.
Shah, dressed in a camel suit, sat between two lawyers. Sitting behind her was her husband, Sharif, in a blue suit. He raised his hand when introduced by defense attorney Priya Chaudhary.
Judge Sidney Stein said Shah’s role in the show played no role in the ruling.
“The character your client plays in ‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ is just a character,” Stein told the attorneys. “The ‘Real Housewives’ franchise involves role-playing and liberation. People shouldn’t be confused, and this court will not confuse a character you play in an entertainment show with the one I have before me.”
“Asmaa Shah will be remembered for the rest of her life,” Chowdhury said of the victims. Mrs. Shah knows she has ruined many lives.
Stein interrupted the expression of sympathy to ask, “Does she still sell ‘Free Jen’ or ‘Justice for Jen’ merchandise on her website or has that been taken down?” Chaudhry said Shah no longer sells the stuff and has saved up the proceeds to compensate.
The defense insisted that Shah understood that the victims “had little at first and now they will struggle more”, but when Chaudhry said none of the victims had spoken directly to Shah, Stein cut off.
“Because she was so intense in plotting to deal with the victims,” Stein said. “She was very important. She was a leader. So the fact that she never spoke to a victim works against you.”
In a statement following the verdict, Chowdhury said, “Jane Shah deeply regrets the mistakes she made and deeply regrets the people she has hurt. Jane believes in our justice system, understands that anyone who breaks the law will be punished, and accepts this sentence as fair. Jane will pay her debt to society and when she becomes a free woman Once again, she undertakes to pay her debts to the victims affected by her wrongs.
Federal prosecutors called it “preposterous” to portray Shah as simply selling listings to other telemarketers to defraud.
“She’s laughing at the text messages that talk about defrauding these people,” said Robert Silverman, Assistant US Attorney General. “It’s not like she sent a computer file to someone.”
Silverman said it was “really hard” to hear the defense cast Shah as self-delusional and somewhat unaware of the gravity of her crimes. “It’s been a decade, day in and day out, that we’ve been working hard to defraud people,” said the attorney general. “This defendant was very prolific. I made a lot of money from this scheme.”
Shah acknowledged that she had “struggled with responsibility for the longest time”, but said she now took responsibility for her actions. “I am deeply and deeply sorry,” Shah said.
Silverman questioned Shah’s expressions of remorse: “No single letter expressed remorse. It is fair to conclude that this is not how she felt.”
Silverman also spoke about the victims of the fraud. “These are older, vulnerable women whose lives have been turned upside down by the accused’s telemarketing fraud,” he said.
The judge said he was “a little concerned” and Madir Shah was present in court. He warned her against trying to profit from her crime and focused instead on raising money to compensate the victims.
“Ms. Shah was an integral part of the scheme,” Stein said. “No victim received any of the promised proceeds.”
Shah, through tears, apologized for bringing “shame, embarrassment and pain” to her family and broke down completely when she told her youngest son, Omar, “Mom is so sorry for the shock she went through when I woke up at gunpoint” the day of her arrest.
When Shah promised to “pay every cent,” the judge interrupted him to ask, “How do you intend to do that?”
Coached by her lawyer, she hesitantly replied, “I plan to when I’m out of jail use my platform and raise money that way. I hope I can work again.”
Federal prosecutors had asked Shah to serve 10 years in prison. The defense said she should not serve more than three.
“Ms. Shah is a good woman who has crossed the line. She takes full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to everyone who was hurt. Ms. Shah is also sorry for disappointing her husband, children, family, friends and supporters,” Shah’s defense attorney, Priya Choudhury, said in a statement at the time. “Jane pleaded guilty Because she wants to pay off her debt to society and leave this ordeal behind her and her family.”
Federal prosecutors cited Shah’s prowess in the sentencing warrant as the reason she deserved a decade in prison.
“Despite the defendant’s best efforts, she was arrested. She then launched a public attack and attempted to capitalize on the charges by selling ‘Justice for Jane’ merchandise,” prosecutors wrote. “She pleaded guilty at the eleventh hour, only after receiving government trial documents and witness statements. In light of her conduct and conduct after the arrest, her belated expressions of remorse ring hollow.”
In December, a judge ordered the reality TV star to do just that Give away dozens of handbags, jewelry and more As part of a plea agreement with the plaintiffs. 108 items were seized in March 2021 during a search of Shah’s home. The inventory included dozens of bags and imitation jewelry stamped with fake labels from Chanel, Gucci, Bulgari, and Hermes.
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