'Real Housewives' star Jen Shah arrested on federal fraud charges in connection to a nationwide telemarketing scam

Reality TV star Jen Shah ofThe Real Housewives of Salt Lake Citywas arrested and charged in connection with a telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of people, many of whom are over the age of 55, according to a superseding indictment that was unsealed this week.

Her assistant Stuart Smith was also arrested and charged Tuesday.
Both Shah, 47, and Smith, 43, will be appear before US Judge Dustin Pead in Salt Lake City federal court Tuesday, de acuerdo a un a news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
    They have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, la release dicho.
      It was not clear if Shah or Smith have obtained attorneys as of Tuesday afternoon. CNN was also unable to identify representatives for either Shah or Smith.
        Bravo has declined to comment.
        The charges stem from a nine-year scheme in which prosecutors say Shah and Smithsold alleged services purporting to make the management of victimsbusinesses more efficient or profitable.These services included tax preparation and website design services, though many of their elderly victims did not own a computer, el comunicado dijo.
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          Part of the scheme also included Shah and Smith allegedly trafficking lists of potential victims, llamado “leads.Many of the victims had already previously made an initial investment to create an online business with other participants in the scheme, el comunicado dijo.
          Shah and Smith alsoundertook significant effortsto hide their role in the scheme. Part of these efforts included incorporating their business entities using third party names and telling other participants to do the same.
          The duo also directed others to use encrypted messaging applications to communicate with other members of the scheme, instructed them to send shares of certain fraudulent proceeds to offshore bank accounts andmade numerous cash withdrawals structured to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements.
          Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success.’ En realidad, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people,” said Peter C. Fitzhugh, special agent-in-charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations.
          The first season ofThe Real Housewives of Salt Lake Citydebuted in November 2020.
            Shah is described by Bravo asthe queen of her house and her businesses.During the show’s reunion episode in February, Bravo host Andy Cohen asked Shah to clarify what she does for a living.
            My background is in direct response marketing for about 20 años, so our company does advertising,” she said in response. “We have a platform that helps people acquire customers, so when you’re shopping online or on the Internet, and something pops, we have the algorithm behind why you’re getting served that ad.

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