'Real Housewives' star Jen Shah pleads not guilty to fraud, money laundering charges

Taryn Ryder
·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's Jen Shah was arraigned on Friday, three days after she was arrested for her role in an alleged fraudulent telemarketing scheme. The Bravo star pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Shah's first assistant, Stuart Smith, also pleaded not guilty to both charges. 

Shah and Smith, who appeared virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, were supposed to be arraigned on Wednesday. But so many Real Housewives fans flooded the line that the hearing had to be rescheduled. Their arrests are part of a larger criminal case involving 10 other people.

On Friday, the judge ruled Shah can remain out on $1 million personal bond, secured by $250,00 in cash or property, according to Fox 13 News reporter, Ben Winslow, as the judge recognized she could be a flight risk. Shah can continue working on certain business, like fashion, beauty and lashes, but nothing to do with telemarking. RHOSLC is currently in production and Shah was brought back for Season 2. It's likely she will continue to be involved. A lawyer for the reality star said "she intends to fight this case."

Feds say Shah and Smith generated and sold "lead lists" of hundreds of innocent individuals, many over the age of 55, for business opportunities.

"The so-called business opportunities pushed on the victims by Shah, Smith and their co-conspirators were just fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims' money. Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes," U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said after Tuesday's arrest. 

Shah and Smith are facing up to 50 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

Earlier this year, Shah — who said she is the "CEO of three marketing companies" — boasted to Page Six about being involved in a "new entrepreneur program for women."

"We're helping women pivot and shift their business through the quarantine and COVID," she said in January of the new venture. "To helping them still stabilize their business through online sales because their brick and mortar stores are closed…we've been working with some ladies, so you'll see some of that coming out and hearing their stories and seeing how we help their businesses grow."

Several interviews are coming back to haunt Shah after her arrest. In a resurfaced chat with SiriusXM's Michelle Collins, the Bravo star talked about how Smith, one of her eight assistants, would "do anything" for her.

"Stuart would literally do anything, anything like some, some assistants I won't ask to do certain things, you know? One of them is just, she's just strictly virtual. So of course I'm not asking her to do…. But like Stuart is all in for like crazy stuff," she said on The Michelle Collins Show. "Yeah."

A trial date has been set for Oct.18.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: