Jen Shah, a star of the Bravo reality television show "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City," was arrested and charged with conspiracy related to allegations of wire fraud and a telemarketing scheme, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
In a statement announcing charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, the Justice Department alleged that Shah, 47, of Park City, Utah, and her "first assistant," Stuart Smith, 43, of Lehi, Utah, "generated and sold 'lead lists' of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam."
In the indictment unsealed Tuesday, the Justice Department alleges that between 2012 and 2021, Shah and Stuart conspired to defraud older and computer illiterate people by operating a multi-state telemarketing and in-person sales teams that would sell "essentially non-existent" services and fight consumer efforts to obtain refunds.
"In actual reality and as alleged, 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," U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in the statement. "Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes."
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said that Shah and Smith "flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their 'success'" but that they "allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people."
In the statement, New York Commissioner Dermot Shea said the pair "targeted and defrauded hundreds of victims but thanks to the hard work of the NYPD and our law enforcement partners, this illegal scheme was brought to an end."
Representatives for Shah declined to comment. Smith did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sharrieff Shah, Jen's spouse, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Representatives for co-stars Meredith Marks, Heather Gay and Whitney Rose declined to comment.
Representatives for co-stars Lisa Barlow and Mary Cosby did not immediately respond to requests for comment. None of Jen Shah's costars are accused of any wrongdoing.
Bravo, which is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, declined to comment.