April 15, 2021

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Beyond law

Decide imposes $1M bail on ‘Real Housewives’ star Jen Shah in fraud circumstance

A federal judge established bail for Jen Shah, 1 of the stars of the “The Authentic Housewives of Salt Lake Metropolis,” at $1 million Friday pending demo in the federal fraud situation in opposition to her.

“I do believe there is a threat of flight below,” said U.S. District Choose Sidney Stein, who essential the Park City resident to article a $1 million personalized recognizance bond secured by $250,000 in money or property and two co-signers all through a listening to in the Southern District of New York.

Shah, 47, pleaded not responsible to wire fraud and funds laundering costs in connection with an alleged nationwide telemarketing plan. Federal agents arrested Shah and Stuart Smith, of Lehi, on Tuesday in Utah.

Federal government prosecutors did not seek out to maintain them in jail but asked for circumstances for their release, which include the 7-figure bond.

Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and thriving businessperson on actuality television, and Smith, 43, who is portrayed as Shah’s initially assistant, allegedly generated and marketed ‘lead lists’ of people today for other customers of their scheme to consistently scam, reported Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.

“In precise fact and as alleged, the so-referred to as company options pushed on the victims by Shah, Smith, and their co-conspirators had been just fraudulent strategies, enthusiastic by greed, to steal victims’ money,” Strauss claimed in a assertion before this week.

Shah’s own finances were being the subject of some discussion in the course of the listening to. She seemingly outlined no property or earnings in her disclosures to the courtroom.

Assistant U.S. legal professional Kiersten Fletcher informed the judge that can not be correct. She mentioned Shah and Smith had been at the “highest level” of the scheme.

“Ms. Shah has not shown a willingness to disclose her belongings,” she mentioned.

Fletcher mentioned Shah and Smith developed various shell firms to acquire cash from the telemarketing fraud. She reported they have entry to a big volume of “crime proceeds,” together with $5 million in the financial institution account of a corporation named Mastery Professional Team.

Shah’s lawyer did not argue versus the $1 million bond but took issue with the $250,000 to safe it.

They explained to the choose Shah is not a flight risk and that her passport, which the federal government seized all through a lookup of her dwelling, has expired. Her household is leasing a household and does not individual any other actual assets, they said. The lawyers explained Shah could not flee wherever and not be identified simply because of her job on the “The Genuine Housewives of Salt Lake Town.”

Fletcher contended the Shah’s general public persona is not enough to be certain her look at potential court hearings.

Shah is between six Utah girls showcased on Bravo’s “The Serious Housewives of Salt Lake City” that began airing last calendar year. She is wife of the College of Utah assistant soccer mentor Sharrieff Shah.

On its website, Bravo describes Shah as the “queen of her property and her firms as the CEO of three marketing corporations.”

“Always decked out in designer models, Jen enjoys to host parties and spares no cost — it’s critical to her that absolutely everyone knows she is the greatest host in Utah. With an extravagant individuality and sharp tongue, she can go from to 100 very immediately, but typically will come back with apologies and love,” in accordance to the network.

A spokeswoman for Bravo informed the Deseret News in an e-mail that the community is not commenting on Shah’s criminal scenario.

Stein also needed Shah and Smith to keep away from get hold of with every single other, surrender their passports and to continue to be in Utah, except for touring to New York and Washington, D.C., for legal professional conferences or court hearings. The decide also limited them from all telemarketing actions and producing any personal or company transactions exceeding $5,000, apart from to pay back lawful costs.

Peter Fitzhugh, special agent in demand of the New York field workplace of Homeland Stability Investigations, reported Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish life-style to the public as a image of their good results.

“In reality, they allegedly created their opulent way of life at the expense of vulnerable, normally elderly, performing-class individuals,” he said in an previously statement. “As alleged, disturbingly, Shah and Smith objectified their very actual human victims as ‘leads’ to be bought and bought, giving their particular info for sale to other customers of their fraud ring.”

A dozen people today have been charged in the scenario that dates again to 2019. Many have previously pleaded responsible to wire fraud and await sentencing.

Federal authorities say from 2012 till March 2021, Shah and Smith together with other people carried out a broad-ranging telemarketing plan that defrauded hundreds of people today through the United States, many of whom ended up more than age 55, by advertising them “business services” in connection with their purported online businesses.

Shah and Smith coordinated efforts to targeted visitors in lists of prospective victims, or “leads,” many of whom experienced earlier designed an initial expense to develop an on-line business with many others in the plan, authorities allege.

Qualified prospects were being initially generated by gross sales floors operating in, among other locations, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The operators of those product sales floors also worked with telemarketers in the New York and New Jersey place, such as in Manhattan.

Authorities contend that Shah and Smith generated and marketed qualified prospects to other participants for use by their telemarketing income floors with the expertise that the persons they had recognized as “leads” would be defrauded by them. They acquired a share of the fraudulent income per the terms of their agreement with people members, according to authorities.

Shah and Smith manufactured endeavours to disguise their roles in the company option scheme, together with incorporating their business enterprise entities employing third events and sending fraud proceeds to offshore financial institution accounts, authorities say.