Real Housewives’ Jen Shah backtracks and pleads guilty to fraud charges, could face more than a decade in prison

A week before Jen Shah stands trial for criminal fraud, the The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City The star surprisingly changed course, pleading guilty when he appeared in court on July 11. Shah had always maintained his innocence after previously pleading not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and now faces 11 to 14 years in prison.

During a hearing on the morning of Monday, July 11, Jen Shah’s lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, said her client wanted to change her not guilty plea to the reverse, with a plea agreement under the change. The Bravo alum read a prepared statement in front of Judge Sidney Stein, ABC News reports. The statement said:

From 2012 to March 2021, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, I agreed with others to commit wire fraud. I knew it was wrong. I knew a lot of people had been hurt and I’m really sorry about that.

Jen Shah’s plea deal provides for a sentence of up to 14 years in prison, Variety reports. The maximum sentence would be 30 years in prison, but under the terms of the agreement, sentencing guidelines are between 11 and 14 years, although a judge could choose to step outside of those parameters. The plea also states that Shah would pay more than $9 million in restitution to his victims. His sentencing date is now set for November 28.

In March 2021, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake CityJen Shah was arrested while filming the show on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. She was accused of being involved in a nationwide telemarketing scheme that defrauded vulnerable populations. Other defendants in the case, including Shah’s longtime aide Stuart Smith, have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

The legal drama was documented in Season 2 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City on Bravo, as well as an original Hulu documentary. The housewife and the shah shockeravailable to Hulu subscribers, features law enforcement officials looking into the inner workings of the alleged scam that affected elderly victims and vulnerable populations.

Preparing for Jen Shah’s trial would be a main storyline when Season 3 airs, and although Variety reports that cameras weren’t present for the July 11 court date, she will continue to film the show. . You can find the first two seasons streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.

Prior to Jen Shah’s plea change, jury selection for her trial had been scheduled to start July 18 after some delays. The RHSLC The star had requested that her appointment not be postponed, due to the difficulties created for the family as well as for Priya Chaudhry’s small law firm. The recent turn of events is particularly surprising, given the confidence Shah has had in his innocence – even going so far as to try to have the case dismissed twice. She also said on Instagram (via Page 6) that she was “looking forward” to her trial so everyone could “see the truth”.

It will be interesting to see what comes out in the wake of Jen Shah’s unexpected announcement, as the reality TV star spends a few more months with her family before what is likely to be a long prison term.

Denise W. Whigham