APSeth Wenig/AP"The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" cast member Jennifer Shah (left) By Kara Scannell, CNN Jennifer Shah, a cast member on Bravo's 'Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,' was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for defrauding thousands of victims in a long-running telemarketing scheme that targeted the elderly and vulnerable. Judge Sidney Stein ordered the sentence of 78 months, along with five years of supervised release. Shah — the latest reality figure whose fraud was exposed by their fame-seeking over-the-top lifestyle — had asked for a three-year sentence.
She had faced up to 14 years under the sentencing guidelines. Shah's defense attorney, Priya Chaudhry, released a statement on Friday, stating 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,' the statement said. '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.' ‘I take full responsibility' Judge Stein called Shah an 'integral' member of the decade-long fraud scheme.
Shah, who was wearing a camel pantsuit, blouse, and leopard print stiletto heels, said, her voice cracking, 'First and foremost I am deeply sorry for what I have done. I take full responsibility for my actions and I'm doing all I can to fix the harm I have caused.' 'I'm so sorry for the agony and significant financial loss each of you have endured,' she said of the victims. Shah broke down sobbing as she apologized to her husband and two sons, who were present in the packed courtroom.
Shah, who was arrested in March 2021, pleaded guilty in July. Prosecutors asked for 10 years in prison. Stein questioned Shah's attorney why Shah's written statement said nothing about her concern for the victims of the fraud and pointed out how she took steps to hide her fraud, including moving bank accounts to Kosovo and Cyprus.
Prosecutor Robert Sobelman said the evidence would be 'devastating' if the case had gone to trial. He said Shah showed no remorse toward the victims and her texts messages revealed she was laughing with co-conspirators about them, asking if they had gotten one victim to 'stop crying yet.' Before the sentencing was underway Shah sat next to her husband, Sharrieff Shah, who clasped her hand. Her two sons were seated on the other side of her.
Roughly 20 of Shah's family members and friends took up four rows of seats in the courtroom, which was at capacity with reporters, fans of the show and others in attendance. Missing from the benches were any of her castmates from the reality series. Shah's attorney said she is no longer selling 'Free Jen' or 'Justice for Jen' merchandise on her website and any proceeds would go toward paying back victims.
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