PARK CITY, Utah, March 30, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Jennifer Shah, a member of the ensemble case of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” has been arrested and booked on fraud charges, as has her alleged partner in the case, Stuart Smith.
Shah, 47 and a Park City resident, and Smith, 43 and from Lehi, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing through which they victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55. The crime carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Each also faces one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss released a comment on the case:
“Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television, and Stuart Smith, who is portrayed as Shah’s ‘first assistant,’ allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.
“In actual reality and as alleged, the so-called business opportunities pushed on the victims by Shah, Smith, and their co-conspirators were just fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims’ money. Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes.”
Homeland Security Investigations Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said Shah used the reality show to add to her credibility.
“Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success.’ In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people. As alleged, disturbingly, Shah and Smith objectified their very real human victims as ‘leads’ to be bought and sold, offering their personal information for sale to other members of their fraud ring.”
“Working with our partners at the NYPD and the United States Attorney’s Office, SDNY, and with the assistance of HSI Salt Lake City, HSI New York worked to ensure that Shah and Smith will answer for their alleged crimes. As a result, their new reality may very well turn out differently than they expected.”
Shah was arrested Tuesday. A portion of the federal indictment follows:
SHAH, 47, of Park City, Utah, and SMITH, 43, of Lehi, Utah, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing through which they victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of HSI’s El Dorado Task Force and the NYPD. Ms. Strauss also thanked HSI Utah and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah for their support and assistance in this investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Kiersten A. Fletcher, Benet J. Kearney, and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution.
If you believe you have been a victim of the scheme described above, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement and/or receive notice of future developments in the case or additional information, please contact Wendy Olsen-Clancy, the Victim Witness Coordinator at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at 866-874-8900 or [email protected]. You may also report it to Detective Christopher Bastos at 917-480-7167 or [email protected].
The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.