In March 2021, Jen was arrested and charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges stem from a telemarketing scheme. Jen’s faithful assistant, Stuart Smith, was also arrested and faced the same charges.
Jen declared her innocence during both Season 2 and Season 3 of the show. In fact, Jen blamed Stuart for her legal troubles. In the Season 3 trailer, she remarked, “I would not be in this thing at all if it wasn’t for Stuart.” But in November of 2021, Stuart changed his plea to guilty. It certainly looked like Stuart might turn against Jen.
Jen shocked everyone by changing her plea in July 2022. She pleaded guilty to the count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection to telemarketing. The money laundering charge was dropped. She was staring down 30 years in prison along with five years of suspended release.
In her plea agreement, Jen requested that she serve 11 to 14 years in prison. She would also pay up to $9.5 million in restitution. Jen took responsibility and told the judge that her actions were “wrong and illegal.” The RHOSLC star admitted to her involvement in the scheme. “Wire fraud, offering services with little to no value. We used interstate telephone and emails,” she stated. “I knew many of the purchasers were over the age of 55. I am so sorry,” Jen added.
Meredith Marks and Heather went with Jen to New York City to prepare for her upcoming trial. Heather is loyal to Jen no matter what. A source claimed that Jen allegedly called Heather and Meredith right before she entered the courtroom to change her plea.
According to HollywoodLife, Whitney Rose shared how she feels about Jen’s guilty plea on the podcast, Pay Attention Puh-Lease! “At one point in time, I was like maybe she really did get screwed over, and people did this and turned on her,” Whitney explained. “She screamed innocence so loudly. And if we even tried to talk to her about it, she would get so mad and shut us down.” Of course, Season 3 finished filming before Jen changed her plea.
The RHOSLC cast “didn’t have much information” about Jen’s business dealings. “The problem with that is we would hear things in the community. Salt Lake City is small,” Whitney remarked. “We would hear rumors and we would hear things.”
Whitney continued, “I feel like I went out of my way to support her, despite how she treated me. Through all of this, she and I built an actual friendship for the first time this season.” The Wild Rose Beauty creator added, “So to have her kind of not tell anyone and just go in and plead guilty was shocking.” It certainly was.
“I thought she’d fight it to the end, based on what she was telling me. [She said] she’s innocent, she’s gonna fight it to the end,” Whitney said. “But there was breadcrumbs everywhere and none of it ever made sense. And so now it makes sense.”
Andy Cohen was asked about Jen’s future on the show during an “Ask Andy” panel at BravoCon. Andy replied, “Once we wrapped [Season 3 and] she pled guilty, I think that was kind of, unfortunately, the end of, you know, the engagement there.”
Andy added, “But I hope to sit down with her and talk to her at some point on camera because I have a lot of questions for her.” Amen! Let’s get some answers!
TELL US- SHOULD JEN HAVE INFORMED HER CO-STARS THAT SHE WAS CHANGING HER PLEA? WHICH CO-STARS WILL STAND BY JEN NOW?
[Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]