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‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ star Jennifer Shah faces telephone marketing charges

‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ star Jennifer Shah faces telephone marketing charges

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LOWER MANHATTAN, New York City – Federal prosecutors are seeking a 10-year sentence for a member of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” who they say lived lavishly after defrauding thousands of people nationwide in a telemarketing scam had, many of them old people.

But her lawyer says she shouldn’t face more than three years behind bars.

Jennifer Shah’s fate will be decided on Friday by US District Judge Sidney H. Stein, who in July presided over her guilty plea to conspiracy charges into involvement in a massive fraud for nearly a decade.

Prosecutors said in a filing that Shah used the profits from her scam to live a life of luxury, which included a nearly 10,000-square-foot eight-hearth mansion called the “Shah Ski Chalet” in the resort town of Park City, Utah. The home, they said, is now up for sale for $7.4 million.

They said she also rented an apartment in Midtown Manhattan, leased a Porsche Panamera, bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods, and financed various cosmetic procedures while cheating the Internal Revenue Service out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Prosecutors attacked her conduct following her arrest on March 30, 2021, saying Shah lied to law enforcement in a voluntarily taped interview before launching a public reputation-cleansing campaign in which she “repeatedly, vehemently and falsely protested her innocence.” .

The government said it also appeared to mock the charges against them, claiming that “the only thing I’m guilty of is being shah-mazing,” and then profited by by marketing “Justice for Jen” merchandise after her arrest, as she ordered others to lie while trying to hide her behavior from investigators.

The scam, authorities say, spanned from 2012 to March 2021, when it promoted bogus services that allowed people to make significant amounts of money through online businesses.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys downplayed Shah’s role in the fraud in their submission to the judge, saying “many, many people” were involved in the long-running telemarketing scheme that led so many individuals to seek worthless services from to buy companies in which Shah was involved.

They wrote that the cheating “was a mistake that not only ruined her own life but broke her heart as she witnessed the damage her actions caused.”

According to the lawyers, it was carried out “as part of an industry that operates on a fine line between legal and illegal”.

“Ms. Shah was involved in both the legitimate and fraudulent sides of this industry,” her attorneys said.

Noting that an individual previously convicted of fraud was sentenced to more than seven years in prison, the attorneys said Shah is not like co-defendants who are “essentially career scammers; people who have spent their lives hopping from plan to plan; professional scammers with no honesty dollars to their names.”

They added: “Prior to committing these acts, Ms. Shah’s entire life was one of hard, honest work, respectable accomplishments and a hard-earned reputation for true generosity for more than four decades.”

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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