Jen Shah Sentenced to 6.5 Years in Prison for Wire Fraud Scheme

Jen Shah will serve far less than many expected
By Andy Lalwani
Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams sentenced Jen Shah to 6 1/2 years for her telemarketing scheme. The term sentenced to Shah was less than the original 120 months sought by the prosecution.

“With today’s sentence, Jennifer Shah finally faces the consequences of the many years she spent targeting vulnerable, elderly victims,” Williams said in a statement.


“These individuals were lured in by false promises of financial security, but in reality, Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it.”

Shad has been ordered to forfeit roughly $6.5 million, make restitution of $6.64 million, surrender 30 luxury items, 78 counterfeit luxury items and undergo five years of supervised release once out of prison.

Shah was considered to be an “integral leader” from a scam that ran from “at least 2012 until her arrest in March” last year, according to the US government.

The government claimed the defendants “victimized thousands of innocent people” by selling them “so-called ‘business services’ in connection with the victims’ purported online businesses.”

Shah left the U.S. District Court in NYC after her sentencing hearing and declined to answer any comments from publications and reporters. The “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star will have to surrender to federal prison on Feb. 17.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY — Season:3 — Pictured: Jen Shah — (Photo by: Chris Haston/Bravo via Getty Images)

Shah tearfully told the court she was “deeply sorry” for her crimes and wanted to “apologize to all the victims.”

“Most people identify me with my public persona,” she said. “It has nothing to do with reality.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to speak about who I actually am,” she said. “I am Jennifer Shah … daughter of immigrants.”

She thanked her family for her upbringing, which she said was “rooted in … mutual respect, fulfillment of obligations, humility and generosity, loyalty and respect.”

“I have to come to terms that I have gone against these core values and I am deeply sorry for what I have done,” Shah continued. “I want to apologize to all the victims and families and I take full responsibility for the harm I caused and will pay full restitution to all of the victims.”

She added: “I recognize that some of you lost hundreds and others lost thousands and I promise to repay.”

Shah’s attorney Priya Chaudhry issued a statement to PEOPLE after the decision: “Jen Shah deeply regrets the mistakes that she has made and is profoundly sorry to the people she has hurt. Jen has faith in our justice system, understands that anyone who breaks the law will be punished, and accepts this sentence as just. Jen will pay her debt to society and when she is a free woman again, she vows to pay her debt to the victims harmed by her mistakes.”

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY — “Sinners in the City” Episode 112 — Pictured: Jen Shah — (Photo by: Gabe Ginsberg/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

According to Inner City Press’s Matthew Russell Lee, Judge Stein told attendees: “Jen Shah’s role on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, which I guess is why the courtroom is so full today, is just that, a role. People should not confuse the character she plays on an entertainment show to the person before me.”

U.S. Attorney Robert Sobelman called her crimes “brazen fraud.” Per Lee, Sobelman added, “Every cooperator told us, ‘Jen Shah is the boss.’ They all knew who she was.”

Shah and her assistant Stuart Smith were arrested in March of 2021 for a phone scam that defrauded many citizens over the age of 55. Later on, details emerged on how this same scheme claimed to offer tutoring courses to help victims for salaried sales positions.

After Smith entered a guilty plea in November of 2021, Shah still continued to claim that she was not guilty of the crime. Later on in July of 2022 she admitted in court to her role in the scheme.

The original plea deal suggested that Shah would serve between 11 and 14 years in a prison. The US government proclaimed that reality star should serve ten years in jail, yet Shah asked for a reduced sentence of just three years.

“The terrible business decisions I made and professional relationships I developed stemmed from some personal painful experiences that I was going through in my life,” she wrote in the request, as reported by CNN.

The maximum sentence for said crime was in fact 30 years.