“Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jennifer Shah pleaded guilty in court Monday on criminal charges stemming from a wide-ranging telemarketing scheme.
Driving the news: The reality TV star and others allegedly carried out a wide-ranging telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of people in the U.S., per “Good Morning America.”
“At this time Ms. Shah would like to withdraw her plea of not guilty,” defense attorney Priya Chaudhry said at the change-of-plea hearing on Monday.
Details: Matthew Russell Lee, for Inner City Press, reported via Twitter that Shah changed her plea to guilty.
Judge Sidney Stein questioned the 48-year-old star about the charges she was pleading guilty to.
“Wire fraud, offering services with little to no value. We used interstate telephones and emails,” Shah responded. “I knew many of the purchasers were over the age of 55. I am so sorry.”
The Bravo TV show star said people bought the products and services due to “misrepresentation” and she said she knew that was wrong and illegal, per the Twitter thread. Her payments came in the form of a New York City apartment and a company credit card.
The offshore operations never included Shah’s name on any associated bank accounts.
State of play: According to People magazine, the reality star’s plea means there will be no trial. She faces a maximum of 30 years. She has agreed to pay $9.5 million in restitution and also agreed to a forfeiture of $6.5 million.
She will be sentenced on Nov. 28.
As for her role on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” a source told People that Shah will continue her journey on the show. “Producers don’t want us to stop following it now,” the insider adds. “They’ll keep filming with her as long as they can, just like they did with Teresa (Giudice).”
What they’re saying: Peter Fitzhugh, the special agent-in-charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations, said in a press release that the actress and her assistant “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,” he said.
The duo “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,” Fitzhugh said. “As a result, their new reality may very well turn out differently than they expected.”