UPDATED with newest: Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, each pleaded not responsible on Friday to prices of conspiracy to commit cash laundering and wire fraud, in line with reviews from CNN and NBC News.
The prices were filed on March 30 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office within the Southern District of New York. The duo was arrested the identical day.
Shah shall be allowed to publish a $1 million private recognizance bond. During her trip on bond, she is barred from any affiliation with telemarketing actions and should keep throughout the state of Utah. Shah might, nevertheless, journey to Washington, DC and New York for court docket appearances.
The trial is ready to start on October 18.
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PREVIOUSLY on March 30: More authorized hassle for the Real Housewives franchise. Federal prosecutors say Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, engaged in a nationwide fraud, telemarketing and conspiracy to commit cash laundering scheme.
According to the submitting, the duo and different accomplices “carried out a wide-ranging telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of victims (the “Victims”) all through the United States, lots of whom have been over age 55.” They are accused of “selling those Victims so-called ‘business services’ in connection with the Victims’ purported online businesses.”
The indictment alleges “a widespread, coordinated effort to traffic in lists of potential victims, or ‘leads,’ many of whom had previously made an initial investment to create an online business with other Participants.”
The Real Housewives duo allegedly, “among other things, generated and sold leads to other Participants for use by their telemarketing sales floors with the knowledge that the individuals they had identified as ‘leads’ would be defrauded by the other Participants. SHAH and SMITH received as profit a share of the fraudulent revenue…”
Shah and Smith are every charged with one depend of “conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing through which they victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55.” That cost carries a most sentence of 30 years. They have been additionally every hit with one depend of “conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.”
Shah and Smith have been arrested earlier right this moment and shall be offered this afternoon in Salt Lake City federal court docket.
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City was renewed final month for a second season.
Of course, this isn’t the primary time one of many Bravo franchise’s stars has been hit with federal prices. Between 2014 and 2015, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice served a 15-month stint in federal jail for fraud. Her husband Joe spent 41 months in jail.
You can learn the whole federal indictment beneath.
Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), introduced the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging JENNIFER SHAH and STUART SMITH with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in reference to telemarketing and conspiracy to commit cash laundering. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Sidney H. Stein.
SHAH and SMITH have been arrested earlier right this moment and shall be offered this afternoon in Salt Lake City federal court docket earlier than United States Magistrate Judge Dustin Pead.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated: “Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television, and Stuart 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. 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. Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes.”
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh stated: “Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success.’ In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people. As alleged, disturbingly, 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. Working with our partners at the NYPD and the United States Attorney’s Office, SDNY, and with the assistance of HSI Salt Lake City, HSI New York worked to ensure that Shah and Smith will answer for their alleged crimes. As a result, their new reality may very well turn out differently than they expected.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea stated: “These individuals allegedly targeted and defrauded hundreds of victims but thanks to the hard work of the NYPD and our law enforcement partners, this illegal scheme was brought to an end. I congratulate the NYPD detectives, Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for their hard work in bringing these persons to justice.”
According to the allegations within the Superseding Indictment:
From 2012 till March 2021, JENNIFER SHAH and STUART SMITH, along with others (collectively, the “Participants”) carried out a wide-ranging telemarketing scheme that defrauded a whole bunch of victims (the “Victims”) all through the United States, lots of whom have been over age 55, by promoting these Victims so-called “business services” in reference to the Victims’ purported online companies (the “Business Opportunity Scheme”).
In order to perpetrate the Business Opportunity Scheme, Participants, together with SHAH and SMITH, engaged in a widespread, coordinated effort to visitors in lists of potential victims, or “leads,” lots of whom had beforehand made an preliminary funding to create an online enterprise with different Participants within the Scheme. Leads have been initially generated by gross sales flooring working in, amongst different locations, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The house owners and operators of these gross sales flooring operated in coordination with a number of telemarketing gross sales flooring within the New York and New Jersey space, together with in Manhattan, and offered lead lists and help in combating Victim refund requests to different Participants working these flooring.
SHAH and SMITH, amongst different issues, generated and bought results in different Participants to be used by their telemarketing gross sales flooring with the data that the people that they had recognized as “leads” can be defrauded by the opposite Participants. SHAH and SMITH acquired as revenue a share of the fraudulent income per the phrases of their settlement with these Participants. SHAH and SMITH usually managed every side of the frauds perpetrated by different Participants on the people that they had recognized by, amongst different issues, figuring out which “coaching” gross sales flooring may purchase leads from them, choosing the downstream gross sales flooring to which the “coaching” gross sales flooring was permitted to go the leads, selecting the corporations to offer “fulfillment” companies, that’s, paperwork and data purporting to exhibit that the companies the Participants claimed to offer to these Victims have been precise and bonafide, setting how a lot the downstream gross sales flooring may cost, and figuring out which “products” every of the downstream gross sales flooring may promote.
To perpetrate the Business Opportunity Scheme, sure of the Participants bought alleged companies purporting to make the administration of Victims’ companies extra environment friendly or worthwhile, together with tax preparation or web site design companies, however that many Victims have been aged and didn’t personal a pc. At the outset of the Business Opportunity Scheme, sure Participants employed by a purported success firm despatched a given Victim digital or paper pamphlets or offered so-called “coaching sessions” relating to these purported online companies, however at no level did the defendants intend that the Victims would truly earn any of the promised return on their supposed funding, nor did the Victims truly earn any such returns.
SHAH and SMITH undertook important efforts to hide their roles within the Business Opportunity Scheme. For instance, SHAH and SMITH, amongst different issues, included their enterprise entities utilizing third events’ names and instructed different Participants to do the identical, used and directed others to make use of encrypted messaging purposes to speak with different Participants, instructed different Participants to ship SHAH’s and SMITH’s shares of sure fraud proceeds to offshore financial institution accounts, and made quite a few money withdrawals structured to keep away from foreign money transaction reporting necessities.
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SHAH, 47, of Park City, Utah, and SMITH, 43, of Lehi, Utah, are every charged with one depend of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in reference to telemarketing by way of which they victimized 10 or extra individuals over the age of 55, which carries a most sentence of 30 years, and one depend of conspiracy to commit cash laundering, which carries a most sentence of 20 years. The most potential sentences on this case are prescribed by Congress and are offered right here for informational functions solely, as any sentencing of the defendants shall be decided by the choose.
Ms. Strauss praised the excellent investigative work of HSI’s El Dorado Task Force and the NYPD. Ms. Strauss additionally thanked HSI Utah and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah for his or her assist and help on this investigation.
This case is being dealt with by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Kiersten A. Fletcher, Benet J. Kearney, and Robert B. Sobelman are in control of the prosecution.
If you consider you might have been a sufferer of the scheme described above, together with a sufferer entitled to restitution, and also you want to present information to legislation enforcement and/or obtain discover of future developments within the case or further information, please contact Wendy Olsen-Clancy, the Victim Witness Coordinator on the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at 866-874-8900 or [email protected] You can also report it to Detective Christopher Bastos at 917-480-7167 or [email protected]
The prices contained within the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed harmless until and till confirmed responsible.