Andy Cohen to host ‘Ex Rated’ series and director to produce ‘Real Housewives of Miami’ revival for Peacock
UPDATE with the latest: Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Star Jen Shah and her assistant Stuart Smith both pleaded not guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud, according to reports from CNN and NBC News.
The charges were deposited on March 30 by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. The duo were arrested the same day.
Shah will be allowed to deposit a personal pledge of $ 1 million. During her time off on bail, she is excluded from any association with telemarketing activities and must remain in the state of Utah. Shah can, however, travel to Washington, DC and New York for court appearances.
The trial is scheduled to begin on October 18.
Andy Cohen to host ‘Ex Rated’ series and director to produce ‘Real Housewives of Miami’ revival for Peacock
PREVIOUS March 30: No more legal problems for the Real housewives franchise. Federal prosecutors say Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Star Jen Shah and her assistant Stuart Smith have engaged in nationwide fraud, telemarketing and conspiracy to commit a money laundering scheme.
According to the file, the duo and other accomplices “carried out a massive telemarketing operation that defrauded hundreds of victims (the ‘victims’) across the United States, many of whom were over the age of 55.” They are accused of “selling these victims so-called ‘business services’ in connection with the victims’ alleged online businesses.”
The indictment alleges “a widespread and coordinated effort to tamper with lists of potential victims, or ‘prospects,’ many of whom had already made an initial investment to start an online business with other participants.”
the Real housewives duo would have, among other things, generated and sold leads to other participants to be used by their telemarketing sales floors knowing that the individuals they had identified as “prospects” would be defrauded by the other participants. SHAH and SMITH received a share of the fraudulent income as a benefit… ”
Shah and Smith are each charged with one count of “conspiracy to commit electronic fraud in connection with telemarketing by which they assaulted 10 or more persons over the age of 55”. This charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years. They were also each charged with “conspiracy to commit money laundering, punishable by up to 20 years”.
Shah and Smith were arrested earlier today and will appear in federal court in Salt Lake City this afternoon.
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City was renewed last month for a second season.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that one of the stars of the Bravo franchise has faced federal charges. Between 2014 and 2015, Real Housewives from New Jersey Star Teresa Giudice has served 15 months in federal prison for fraud. Her husband Joe spent 41 months in prison.
You can read the entire federal indictment below.
Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent for the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the Police Department of New York City (“NYPD”), announced the unveiling of a substitute indictment accusing JENNIFER SHAH and STUART SMITH of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The case was assigned to US District Judge Sidney H. Stein.
SHAH and SMITH were arrested earlier today and will appear in federal court in Salt Lake City this afternoon before US Justice of the Peace Dustin Pead.
Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businesswoman on ‘reality’ television, and Stuart Smith, who is described as Shah’s ‘first assistant’ , allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their program to repeatedly defraud. In actual reality and as it is claimed, the alleged business opportunities offered to victims by Shah, Smith and their co-conspirators were nothing but fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims’ money. These defendants now face jail time for their alleged crimes. “
HSI Special Agent Peter C. Fitzhugh said, “Shah and Smith have flaunted their lavish lifestyles to the public as a symbol of their ‘success’. In reality, they would have built their opulent way of life at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working class people. As alleged, worryingly, Shah and Smith objectified their very real human victims as “ leads ” to buy and sell, offering their personal information for sale to other members of their fraud network. Working with our partners in the NYPD and the United States Attorney’s Office, SDNY, and with the assistance of HSI Salt Lake City, HSI New York ensured that Shah and Smith were held accountable for their alleged crimes. As a result, their new reality may very well turn out to be different from what they expected.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said, “These individuals have reportedly targeted and defrauded hundreds of victims, but thanks to the hard work of the NYPD and our law enforcement partners, this illegal scheme has been brought to an end. . I commend the NYPD detectives, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for their hard work in bringing these people to justice.
According to the allegations of the replacement indictment:
From 2012 to March 2021, JENNIFER SHAH and STUART SMITH, along with others (collectively, the “Participants”) conducted an extensive telemarketing program that defrauded hundreds of victims (the “Victims”) across the United States. , many of whom were over 55, by selling these victims “business services” as part of the victims’ so-called online businesses (the “Business Opportunities Program”).
In order to keep the business opportunity program alive, participants, including SHAH and SMITH, embarked on a coordinated and widespread effort to tamper with lists of potential victims, or “prospects,” many of whom had already made an initial investment in start an online business. with other program participants. The leads were initially generated by sales floors operating, among others, in Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The owners and operators of these sales floors have operated in coordination with several telemarketing sales floors in the New York and New Jersey area, including Manhattan, and have provided lead lists and assistance to combat the sales. claims for reimbursement from victims to other participants operating these floors.
SHAH and SMITH, among others, generated and sold leads to other participants for use by their telemarketing sales floors knowing that individuals they identified as “leads” would be defrauded by them. other participants. SHAH and SMITH received as profit a share of the fraudulent income under the terms of their agreement with these Participants. SHAH and SMITH often controlled every aspect of the frauds perpetrated by other participants on the people they had identified, among others, determining what “coaching” could buy them leads, selecting the downstream sales floors to which to “coaching”. “. the sales workshop was allowed to skip the leads, choosing companies to provide “processing” services, that is, documents and records meant to demonstrate that the services that participants purported to provide to those people. victims were real and legitimate, determining the amount of downline sales. floors could charge for and determine what “products” each of the downstream sales floors could sell.
To implement the business opportunities program, some of the participants sold services believed to make the management of victims’ businesses more efficient or profitable, including tax preparation or site design services. Web, although many victims were elderly and did not own a computer. At the start of the Business Opportunities Program, some participants employed by a purported execution company sent a particular victim electronic or paper brochures or provided so-called “coaching sessions” regarding these purported online businesses, but to At no time did the defendants want the victims to actually earn any of the promised returns on their intended investment, and neither did the victims get any such returns.
SHAH and SMITH have gone to great lengths to conceal their role in the business opportunity program. For example, SHAH and SMITH, among others, incorporated their business entities using the names of third parties and asked other participants to do the same, used and directed others to use encrypted messaging applications to communicate with other participants, asked other participants to send SHAH. and SMITH’s actions of certain frauds continue on offshore bank accounts and have made numerous cash withdrawals structured to avoid reporting obligations for foreign currency transactions.
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SHAH, 47, of Park City, Utah, and SMITH, 43, of Lehi, Utah, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud in connection with the telemarketing through which they assaulted 10 or more people over the age of 55, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years. The potential maximum sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any convictions of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Ms. Strauss praised the exceptional 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 Bureau’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit. US Deputy Attorneys Kiersten A. Fletcher, Benet J. Kearney, and Robert B. Sobelman are responsible for the prosecution.
If you believe you have been a victim of the regime described above, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement and / or receive notification of future developments in the case or For further information, please contact Wendy Olsen-Clancy, the Victims and Witness Coordinator in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at 866-874-8900 or [email protected] You can also report it to Detective Christopher Bastos at 917-480-7167 or [email protected]
The charges contained in the replacement indictment are only charges and the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.