I don’t know how we got to the point where Real Housewives fans went from casual viewers to self-taught law students, but here we are. The bulk of it started with the twisted web of a sham divorce and embezzlement allegations swirling around Erika Jayne this season on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Then, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah was arrested (or if you ask her, #unarrested) for her alleged role in a fraud and telemarketing scheme that targeted the elderly. Meanwhile, there have been plenty of lawsuits, shady business deals, and countless unpaid back taxes in the Bravoverse that make me wonder why I did pull an Elle Woods in the first place.
Jen’s legal drama is sure to be the center of Season 2 of RHOSLC. She got tipped off about her arrest and while the Bravo cameras were rolling. And fans were forced to take off the rose-colored glasses that Jen’s alleged bad behavior might extend beyond her adult temper tantrums. The Shah Chalet was revealed to be a facade, much like Jen’s supposed millions. And it begs the question of how many members of the Shah Squad are sticking by her side. And which ones are running for the hills to avoid being lumped into the federal investigation.
In legal documents recently obtained by TMZ, Jen was listed as one of 6 people that the U.S. Attorney put in the “Tier A” category for the alleged crimes. Jen and her assistant Stuart Smith were both listed as the “senior participants” in the scheme who allegedly continued with their crimes even though they knew charges were impending. This is a far cry from Jen’s not guilty pleas or her requests to just get the feds to dismiss this whole thing as a little inconvenience. Coach Shah, you need to talk some sense into this woman.
Of the six “Tier A” members, two have already been sentenced to 78 months and 60 months in prison in the case. Jen should be happy — she’s allegedly facing up to 30 years. And while most of her friends likely turned their backs on Miss Shah, the most loyal BFF of all time Heather Gay will be there to put money in Jen’s commissary. And sneak her some false eyelashes into prison, considering the squad probably won’t be invited.
The six senior suspects are allegedly “responsible for orchestrating a broader scheme.” Jen in particular is accused of “obtaining leads directly from lead sources and provided them to, among others, coaching sales floors operated in Utah and Nevada.” Well, Jen might have not totally been lying when she called herself the Wizard of Oz at her career. She just might’ve failed to mention the legality of her business tactics.
RELATED: Jen Shah Pleads With Court To Dismiss Fraud Charges; Says She Was “Coerced Into Making Statements”
Jen’s lawyer responded to the TMZ article claiming she’s “totally innocent” and that the feds’ latest claims are “absurd.” The lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, added that the new report comes after a nearly decade-long investigation that never mentioned Shah’s name. Chaudhry called it the latest “made-up allegation” that is “totally unsupported by evidence.” Something tells me the feds would disagree, but innocent until proven guilty is the motto.
Hopefully, Jen was able to scrounge up the $2.5 million she attempted to raise on GoFundMe in order to pay her lawyers because it’s clear she’s going to need a serious defense in such a major case. All I know is I need Mary Cosby to come into Season 2 with some heat, telling Jen she smells like prison instead of hospital this time around.
TELL US – DO YOU BELIEVE THAT JEN WAS ONE OF THE MAJOR ORCHESTRATORS IN A TELEMARKETING SCHEME? DO YOU THINK SHE’S TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT BEING FALSELY ACCUSED?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]