DAVE & DUJANOVIC

Real Housewives of SLC star faces sentencing Friday. Podcast host shares her insights.

Jan 5, 2023, 6:24 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 8:44 am
Real Housewives star...
“The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah, center, leaves the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Shah, who is married to an assistant football coach at the University of Utah, faces federal fraud charges in New York. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Just days before her sentencing, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah traveled to  Pasadena, Calif., to watch the Utah Utes play in the Rose Bowl along with her husband, Sharrieff, who is the team’s cornerbacks/special teams’ coordinator. 

On March 30, 2021, Shah and her reality show assistant, Stuart Smith, were arrested in Salt Lake City, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

They were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television, and 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,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, claiming the duo had an ulterior motive with their alleged actions, as reported by yahoo! entertainment.

Initially, the Real Housewives star pled not guilty, but in July 2022, she changed her plea to guilty.

“In 2012 to March 2021 in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere I agreed with others to commit wire fraud,” Shah told Judge Sidney Stein in a statement at the time, according to yahoo! entertainment.

Shah’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday in New York City.

Welcome to the show

Former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney and podcast host Emily D. Baker joins KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to discuss the case and Shah’s likely sentence.

“Whenever we’re talking about celebrities, my concern is always are they getting special treatment: Are they being too harshly punished or are they getting off easy?” Dave asked.

“As someone who’s on Real Housewives and being prosecuted, or has been prosecuted and has now pled guilty to federal wire fraud, she’s not being treated differently because she’s on TV,” Baker said.

“These frauds, the USA’s [the United States Attorneys] said date back to 2012, long before anybody was filming Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” Baker said. “And most of the arrests in this prosecution came before the show started filming. Jen Shah knew when cameras started rolling that her co-defendants had already been arrested.”

Victims

Baker said the wire fraud charge alleges that a telemarketing scheme brought in often elderly and vulnerable victims and sold them business opportunities that had no value.

“Bringing them in and selling them a website and then coaching on how to make the website profitable and then tax help on the website — thing after thing after thing until they had no money left,” she said.

Baker added federal prosecutors labeled the Real Housewives star as the most culpable defendant in the telemarketing-fraud ring.

“The victim impact statements in the government’s sentencing are staggering. These are individuals in their 70s who have lost their life savings. It is story after story like that where Jen is directly involved,” she said.

Ill-gotten fortune

“Do we have an idea what the number is, how much she defrauded?” Dave asked.

“She agreed to over $9 million in restitution,” Baker said. “Her co-defendants have agreed to multiple millions of restitution, so we have restitution now in the 10’s of millions of dollars.”

Prison time

“She could face 100 months or more in prison at this point. We’re talking 10 years or more. What’s your take on that, Emily? What are you hearing?” Debbie asked.

“In this plea deal, they kept the sentencing range at a cap of 14 years instead of 30. But at the end of the day, it’s up to the judge to decide. The sentencing report said six years was appropriate. The prosecutors are asking for 10. Jen’s attorneys are asking for three. So even at the low end, they didn’t ask for probation like we’ve seen in other cases like Elizabeth Holmes … I think that six- to 10-year range is realistic,” Baker said.

Related reading: Jen Shah of Real Housewives SLC pleads guilty to fraud charges

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL NewsRadio.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Spanish Fork High School in Spanish Fork is pictured on Friday March 12, 2021. Students at Spanish ...
Mark Jones

Concurrent enrollment provides students with options in Nebo School District

Programs such as concurrent enrollment can give high school students and their parents options.
2 days ago
artificial intelligence banjo...
Curt Gresseth

ChatGPT: Plagiarism super-tool for students or AI brainstorming generator?

Will the future of AI be the interactive chatbot ChatGPT helping cheaters ace exams and tests or a new tool to assist all students in learning?
2 days ago
FrontRunner...
Elizabeth Weiler

UTA board looks at FrontRunner expansion in Utah County

Utah County is the fastest growing county in the state so UTA is considering a number of expansions to their current FrontRunner and bus lines. 
2 days ago
PayPal...
Curt Gresseth

Banks to launch app to compete with Apple Pay and Venmo

Banks are launching a new app for online money transfers that customers can trust to protect their finances.
3 days ago
hov lane is pictured, new law would let pregnant people use hov lane alone...
Samantha Herrera

Proposed law would allow pregnant people to use HOV lane

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Gricius, R-Salt Lake City, would allow a pregnant person to use HOV lanes on their own.
4 days ago
mass shooter...
Curt Gresseth

Mass shooter’s age – 72 – makes California massacre harder to unravel

A mass shooter, 72, killed 11 people and injured nine in California on Saturday night before killing himself. A former US Attorney for the District of Utah dissects the massacre.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Real Housewives of SLC star faces sentencing Friday. Podcast host shares her insights.