Jen Shah will be serving more than just looks in prison.
The “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for wire fraud over a long-running telemarketing scheme targeting elderly consumers.
NBC News first reported Shah’s sentencing in the federal case. The Bravo-lebrity is set to serve 78 months and will be subject to five years of supervised release after her term. Shah was arrested by the FBI on-camera while filming “RHOSLC” in March 2021. Shah pled guilty in July 2022 and agreed to make restitution of more than $9 million to the victims. Shah also agreed to forfeit $6.5 million to the government.
Prosecutor Robert Sobelman urged Judge Stein in New York federal court to consider a decade-long prison sentence. “Victims were defrauded over and over again until they had nothing left,” Sobelman and federal prosecutors wrote in a December 23 opening memo. “[Shah] and her co-conspirators persisted in their conduct until the victims’ bank accounts were empty, their credit cards were at their limits, and there was nothing more to take.”
Shah’s attorneys were seeking a three-year sentence, but Judge Sidney Stein split the difference.
“Jen Shah’s role on the ‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,’ which I guess is why the courtroom is so full today, is just that, a role,” Judge Stein said in the courtroom, as Inner City Press posted on Twitter. “People should not confuse the character she plays on an entertainment show to the person before me.”
Judge Stein continued, “She was too important to talk to the victims. She was a leader of this conspiracy. So this cuts against you, not for you.”
Shah’s husband Sharrieff Shah is a special teams coordinator for the University of Utah’s football team. Shah is not the first “Real Housewives” star to serve prison time. “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast members Joe and Teresa Giudice were sentenced to prison terms in October 2014 for defrauding banks. “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne’s estranged husband attorney Tom Girardi is currently awaiting a trial over his multiple multi-million-dollar alleged theft from victims of lawsuits. Girardi was disbarred and ruled to pay $2 million to four minor children of Lion Air flight crash victims in June 2022; he is still awaiting the result of pending lawsuits, including the allegations of a $100-million fraud plot and owing over half a billion dollars to creditors.
Fellow NBCU reality stars Julie and Todd Chrisley of “Chrisley Knows Best” fame were recently sentenced to a combined 19 years in prison for fraud and tax evasion.