The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's breakout star came in the form of Jen Shah, a marketing executive prone to a lot of heated reactions. But unbeknownst to the Bravo network, Shah was being investigated by the FBI for her supposed participation in a nationwide telemarketing scheme. She was arrested and charged in March and, of late, court documents have alluded to an even higher level of culpability by Shah than was previously thought. Now, her lawyer is firing back at these “highly prejudicial” statements.
It was revealed last week that the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's Jen Shah, whose charges include fraud and money laundering, is in the highest tier of co-conspirators in the legal case. In fact, the court documents allege that Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, orchestrated the scheme and supplied leads to sustain it. Shah's lawyer quickly denied the claims, calling them “absurd” and “made-up,” but it seems she has also fired back officially in court.
In new court documents obtained by Radar Online, Priya Chaudhry, the reality star’s lawyer, requested that the recent statements “be stricken or at least redacted” from the public record. Chaudhry also stated:
Unlike all of the other defendants, Ms. Shah is a public figure because of her work on the Bravo television network. The government is well aware of this, and timed its letter for the night before oral argument, knowing that it would be picked up by the press—which it was, and was reported in a highly prejudicial manner.
In other words, Jen Shah’s lawyer is saying that because of her Bravo notoriety, Shah is being subjected to prejudice. Apparently, prosecutors had responded to the insinuations in court and stated that her Real Housewives fame had nothing to do with the revelations made.
Jen Shah claims to be innocent of the charges but, if she is found guilty during her trial in October, the punishment would likely be severe. With no plea deal made, she could face upwards of 20 years in prison.
However, Jen Shah’s lawyer has been working to make sure that won’t happen. They even attempted to have the case thrown out entirely a few weeks ago, alleging that the detectives involved “coerced” her. Following the judge’s previous bail ruling that prohibited the Real Housewives star from marketing work in the interim, Shah has taken to Cameo and a now-defunct GoFundMe to help pay for her defense in court.
Amidst the back and forth of the legal case, Jen Shah has also been filming the second season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Co-star Heather Gay shared how she was leaning in to support her best friend-turned-frenemy on the show. But it is unclear if Shah will take the Erika Jayne approach to filming amid legal troubles. That is, only cryptically alluding to issues and headlines, without revealing too much.
Indeed, it would be probably the safest move for Jen Shah to not share too much on camera for Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Prosecutors in both Shah and Erika Jayne’s ongoing legal cases have made it clear that their opulent lifestyles would be under intense scrutiny as they applied to the allegations levelled against them. Still, the warning hasn't stopped Erika Jayne from flying private jets and fighting back in court.
Jen Shah is also fighting her own fraud charges out in court. Even though the reality star's trial is still a few months away, things are clearly still heating up in the public court of perception.