I know throughout the Jen Shah legal process, feelings from fans, myself included, have wavered just a little. When I initially heard the star of one of my favorite reality shows was arrested as cameras were rolling for her involvement in a nationwide telemarketing scheme that targeted the elderly, I was plugged in. After hearing her maintain her innocence for so long on the show, I started to gaslight myself into thinking this lady could possibly be telling the truth.
But after her guilty plea this past summer, everything changed for her, and viewers were finally starting to see uncover the truth about Jen. Now, with her sentencing literally around the corner, more information is being revealed by the U.S. government about Jen’s MAJOR role in this disgusting criminal act.
In court documents obtained by People, the elderly victims of Jen’s scheme detail how their lives drastically changed after being defrauded by the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star and her “colleagues.”
One widow stated they’d been “exhausted, overwhelmed, and frustrated” during their grieving period. One day, she came across an email that told her she could make money in a salaried sales position. Initially, the widow said she believed it would be “an investment” into my future,” but realized she was gravely mistaken.
In her victim statement, the widow wrote that after signing up for the course, she was required to hand over thousands of dollars and said the people tutoring her “charges a different amount.” She also revealed the pace of the program was too fast for her, and she wasn’t “confident enough” to move forward without their assistance. Eventually, she realized she was being “snowballed,” and the “e-services tried to set up a business for me on a website” without her knowledge. After that, she noted she experienced depression she feared would “make me suicidal.”
“Your sanity is in doubt, your confidence eroded, your independence, what limited amount there is, curbed and you can’t trust anybody,” she said. “You are not the same person you were before this experience.”
This is so sad. As I said, even I felt like Jen’s pull was so strong she could’ve been telling the truth. I can’t begin to imagine how these victims felt when they had master manipulators in their ears preying on their vulnerabilities.
The widow continued in her statement, adding, “Whoever these telemarketers are, should cease stealing money and repay what they stolen, and perform acts of restitution, such as living as we are, doing what we do with what limited resources we have, and pay for medical services, such as therapy or psychiatric meds.”
She wrote, “The mental anguish is still with me, today, and the guilt I harbor from being so vulnerable and easy prey to such sharks, still swim in my mind. I do not want the next person to suffer any of these mental anxieties, such as I have. What is normal? I do not know anymore. Let the punishment fit the crime, Replace what you have taken and correct the consequences, the action caused,” she added.
Another victim statement from a 75-year-old retiree issued a letter to the courts on behalf of “the many other seniors who were scammed by Mrs. Jennifer Shah.” Dang. Just hearing that statement alone sort of fills me with righteous indignation. This is heinous, completely unethical, and downright wrong.
The victim stated that a few years back, he received “an unsolicited call from Vision Solutions Management with promises of teaching and leading me to success with their coaching.” He mentioned that this call came as he was trying to grow his business online, and internet marketing wasn’t his strongest skill.
After “several weeks” of coaching, he was contacted by Vision Management Group, a company apparently unrelated to Vision Solutions Management, offering to pick up where the first service left off. Eventually, he became skeptical when Position Gurus, 5 Star Quest, and MPG all reached out to him “because each business followed in sequence of what would have been the next steps for sales.”
Ultimately, the victim noted that multiple things were “duplicated” across their services. Eventually, he realized he had been “conned” and “wasted about $40,000 trying to do good for my family.”
Yeah, for Jen to literally be one of the “leaders” of this massive scheme and then ask for three years in prison after scamming dozens and dozens of people for over a decade is asinine. However, we are talking about Jen Shah here.
The victim also wrote, “Each person scammed has their own story with a dream of a better retirement and life. That was taken away when they were [coerced] to give their money for false promises. Please consider the suffering caused to these seniors possibly because of now not having the money for food, medicine or medical treatment they need. All who had their money stolen cannot use that money to increase their quality of life in retirement,” he said.
“Please consider this when passing judgment on Mrs. Jennifer Shah. Her restitution and time served should put her into the same or similar hardship as her victims. It was her choice to commit the crime for fame, drinks, fun and [luxury]. You are the Judge. I request that your judgment carry the same hardships she has caused her victims,” he continued.
Whew, I just got chills after reading that. And he’s absolutely right. I can’t even say Jen threw away it all for fame because clearly, her character and integrity have been questionable since at least 2012. She just now got caught.
Another victim who was optimistic about their new beginnings in 2017 now feels their “overall health is forever changed” because of Jen. After an unsuccessful job search, they received a call from one of Jen’s shady business partners about launching a business from home. The victim agreed because the opportunity “seemed promising and legitimate,” which led to her to buying “several services.”
“This was the biggest mistake I had ever made in my adult life because from that point on, my life began to spiral out-of-control,” they shared. “I had accumulated a little over $35,000 in credit card debt by early January 2018, with no profits to show. It all felt so surreal.”
Despite working “diligently by devoting more than 10 hours a day,” they could not make a profit and realized they had been scammed, but noted, “it was too late because Jennifer and her partners already had my money.”
This victim wrote they were “worried all the time” about their finances and eventually suffered a heart attack “brought on by extreme stress.” After that, they continued to work on their online business until they were unexpectedly “locked out of my own website for several weeks.” Once the victim regained access to their site, their work disappeared as the “website’s hosting service had changed hands.”
This victim believes Jen should “pay restitution” and be given “the maximum prison sentence allowed by law.”
A fourth victim wrote about “the emotional, mental, physical and financial anguish” Jen’s scheme has done to his family.
“I almost lost everything that I worked for, as well as my life and almost cost me my marriage as well as ruining my kids lives for eternity. What I thought started out to be an investment in a company that I could pass on to my children if the business got off the ground successfully, ended up almost ruining ALL OF OUR LIVES,” the victim wrote.
“When I thought you were all legitimate business people, helping me start out a new business that would be a great venture, totally turned our lives upside down within a very short period of time,” he wrote.
The victim shared that they lost more than $100,000 “due to the cost of starting up the business, [their] educational programs to get a successful business going, supplies, amongst other things and taxes.” Consequently, he had to re-mortgage his home and stated his marriage almost ended in divorce because of this.
He also had to “make excuses as to why I had so many bills I had to pay.” Furthermore, the victim stated they had suicidal thoughts but didn’t want his problem to become a “financial burden” for his family.
Jen’s attorney did not respond to People’s request for comment on the victims’ statements.
Jen, truly, you should be ashamed. These stories are devastating and incredibly sad. I truly hope to never see on Bravo or RHOSLC ever again. Unless it features you sitting down in an interview chair and being grilled about your lack of morality. Then sure, I’d tune it for that. But in the meantime, January 6, 2023 is around the corner, so I don’t think that special is coming any time soon.
TELL US – HOW HEARTBREAKING ARE THESE VICTIM STATEMENTS? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RECENT NEWS ABOUT JEN’S INVOLVEMENT IN THIS SCHEME?
[Photo by: Andrew Peterson/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]