FBI says ‘Real Housewife’ Jin Shah should be sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges

The Justice Department sought a prison contract for “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jane Shah before she was sentenced Jan. 6 for running a nationwide telemarketing scheme targeting seniors, according to newly filed court documents that also appear not reported. Previously reported victim impact statements from some of the elderly people who occupied her.

The December 23 filing called Shah, 49, “the most culpable person charged in this case,” and “an integrated leader of a massive nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme, in which thousands of innocent people were sacrificed.”

“At the defendant’s direction, the victims were defrauded again and again until they were left with nothing,” wrote Damien Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “She and her co-conspirators continued their behavior until the victims’ bank accounts were empty, their credit cards were at their limit, and there was nothing else to take.”

Lawyers for Shah and a representative did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Court documents showed that Shah’s lawyers had asked for a three-year prison sentence.

Shah and her “first associate,” Stuart Smith, were charged in March 2021 with wire fraud and money laundering in a scheme in which they “created and sold ‘master lists’ of innocent individuals to other members of their fraud scheme over and over again” from 2012 through 2021, the office said. US Attorney General.

After initially pleading not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in April 2021, Shah entered a guilty plea to the phone fraud case last July in a dramatic reverse court hearing a week before her trial was scheduled. Started.

A money laundering charge was thrown as part of the plea agreement, and Shah agreed to forfeit $6.5 million and pay restitution of up to $9.5 million, as well as face up to 14 years in prison.

Smith also pleaded not guilty to the charges in April 2021, but later not guilty in November 2021, according to court records. According to court documents, it appears that Smith has not yet been sentenced.

“The burden you have caused me is heavy.”

The filing includes five previously unreported victim impact statements that were written last month, prior to what was supposed to be Shah’s November 28 verdict, which has been postponed to January 6 at the request of her lawyer.

The statements shed light on how Shah and her associates defrauded people and the effects of the scheme on their victims, which allegedly included homelessness, suicidal ideation, and serious health issues.

The victim who appears to have been defrauded of most of the money was a Canadian woman who lost more than $100,000 through the scheme’s unfulfilled promises to help her start an unspecified new business.

She said losing money drove her to contemplate suicide, asked her to re-mortgage her house, nearly led to divorce, and left her continuing to struggle with paying bills and caring for her “critically ill” husband of 90 years. -Grand.

“The burden you have caused me is so heavy, I cannot even express the amount of pain I have caused,” that victim wrote to Shah in her statement of impact.

A 60-year-old victim said she “experienced mental and physical stress” after investing nearly $35,000 in what Shah’s partners promised would be her own e-commerce business. After devoting more than 10 hours a day to what she thought was her business and not making any profit, she “realized I was being cheated” and had a heart attack in 2018, the first of which she says was caused by “severe”. Stress.”

Another victim with several serious health conditions said she was left homeless after being paid nearly $30,000 through Shah’s scheme.

She said in a victim impact statement that a 75-year-old retiree was defrauded of more than half of her life savings — about $40,000 — with promises to train her how to market products online. Many companies under different names later began to call her with the same promises, and “training and information began to repeat,” she wrote.

A fifth victim, a widow in her mid-70s, asked the court to “let the punishment fit the crime” after Shah’s scheme defrauded her of nearly $10,000 by selling her a course that promised to help her “acquire skill in computer literacy and the sales business.” Not only did the course not sufficiently teach her how to start her own business, as promised, but telemarketers continued to call and harass her even after she realized she was being scammed and got her lawyer involved, she wrote.

“The mental pain is still with me today, and the guilt I feel for being so vulnerable and easy prey for these sharks is still swimming through my mind,” the victim said.

‘The only thing I owe is to do business with the Shah’

In the latest filing, the feds also alleged that Shah “engaged in comprehensive, years-long efforts to conceal her continuing role in the scheme,” and then attempted to profit from the charges once they were made public by selling merchandise of which she claims innocence as part. “general attack”.

The latest lawsuit also alleges that Shah appeared to mock the charges against her in her catchphrase in the opening credits of the second season of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” saying, “The only thing I’m guilty of is being amazing.”

Bravo, the network on which The Real Housewives franchise airs, is owned by NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News.

In the second season, “Housewives” cameras captured the moments leading up to Shah’s arrest—which did not happen on camera—and her cast members’ apparent shock at learning of the allegations against her. None of Shah’s businessmen have been charged with any wrongdoing.

The show included scenes from Shah’s lavish daily life, which included designer clothes and bags, lavish parties and a group of assistants dubbed the “Shah Squad”, of which Smith was allegedly a part.

Shah has starred in the show since its first season, which premiered in 2020; The third season is currently broadcasting.

In an Instagram post last week, Shah claimed she was initially told she would not be allowed to attend a reunion for the show’s third season – which has just been filmed – after pleading guilty, but that producers reversed course and invited her last month on the condition that she was willing to discuss her legal case, which she said she had no desire to do.

“This expectation has no concern for me or the well-being of my family; therefore, under legal advice, I will not attend the reunion [sic],” I wrote.

A Bravo representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

pleas for leniency

In court documents filed on December 16, Shah’s family members pleaded for leniency in her sentence in letters to the judge.

Her husband Sharif Shah, 51, a coordinator for the University of Utah football team, who is not charged with a crime, pleaded that the judge considers her role as wife and mother to their two sons; her “civic commitment and contributions to her community,” which he said include making and distributing masks to homeless people during the pandemic and supporting LGBTQ youth; and her “sincere desire to right the wrongs of the past”.

Jin Shah also submitted a statement to the court on December 16 — much of which has been redacted — writing that she accepts “full responsibility for my bad behavior” and alleging that the “terrible business decisions … stemmed from some traumatic personal experiences I’ve had in my life.” , including the deaths of her father and grandmother in 2018.

“My poor judgment of bad trade associations has caused innocent people to lose money and be victimized by investing in poorly regulated businesses/products that I have influenced or controlled,” she wrote. “For that, I am truly sorry, and I will work for the rest of my life to make it right.”

In the statement, Shah also claimed that she joined The Real Housewives in order to “get away from the coaching business” and “have a platform to launch my fashion and beauty business.”

“I was hoping that by joining the show, I could give my life back and become someone my parents and family would be proud of,” she wrote.

If you or someone you know is going through a crisis, call 988 to access the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also contact the network, formerly the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255or text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources For additional resources.

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