NEW YORK (TCD) – “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jennifer Shah was recently sentenced to over six years in prison for running a telemarketing scheme that defrauded elderly people out of thousands of dollars.
From approximately 2012 up until her March 2021 arrest, Shah “was an integral leader of a wide-ranging, nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme that victimized thousands of innocent people,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced.
Through the scheme, vulnerable people were reportedly sold “business services” for the victims’ online businesses. According to the Attorney’s Office, Shah intentionally and knowingly sold potential victims’ information. Those victims were reportedly susceptible to the scheme’s lies.
The Attorney’s Office said many of the victims were “elderly or vulnerable” and “suffered significant financial hardship and damage.”
Victims were reportedly defrauded repeatedly until their finances were depleted. The Attorney’s Office said Shah and her co-conspirators continued their efforts until the victims’ “bank accounts were empty, their credit cards were at their limits, and there was nothing more to take.”
Additionally, according to the Attorney’s Office, Shah tried to conceal her crimes from authorities, told others to lie, and put businesses and bank accounts in other people’s names. Shah reportedly required cash payments, told people to delete text messages and electronic communications, moved her operations overseas, and attempted to hide evidence from investigators.
Shah pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and on Friday, Jan. 6, she was sentenced to 78 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
According to the Attorney’s Office, Shah will also have to forfeit $6.5 million, 30 luxury items, and 78 counterfeit luxury items, and pay $6,645,251 in restitution.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “With today’s sentence, Jennifer Shah finally faces the consequences of the many years she spent targeting vulnerable, elderly victims. These individuals were lured in by false promises of financial security, but in reality, Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it.”
Williams continued, “This conviction and sentence demonstrate once again that we will continue to vigorously protect victims of financial fraud and hold accountable those who engage in fraudulent schemes.”