'RHOSLC' Star Jen Shah's Court Hearing Postponed After Experiencing Technical Difficulties When More Than 250 People Called In

rhoslc jen shah court hearing postponed technical difficulties fraud

Apr. 1 2021, Updated 9:49 a.m. ET

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Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jennifer Shah’s court arraignment was rescheduled after technical issues meant that she was unable to participate in the virtual hearing.

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The technical difficulties were caused when more than 250 people were called in to the virtual hearing on Wednesday, March 31 — when she was set to appear before the U.S. District Court and Judge Sidney Stein.

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Some of those who dialed in reportedly did not follow the judge’s request to mute their microphones, and someone said, "I'm on for the Housewives trial.

"Do you watch Bravo?" another person reportedly asked. Shah and her attorney Clayton Simms both had technical issues and were asked to call into the conference, but were unable to connect because a limit for the meeting was reached. 

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Judge Stein adjourned the proceedings and rescheduled for Friday, April 2. 

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As OK! previously reported, the 47-year-old and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were both charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud earlier this week in connection to an alleged telemarketing ploy and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

Jen Shah

From 2012-March 2021, the pair along with others, allegedly carried out a telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of people by selling so-called "business services" in connection with the victim’s online businesses, according to the Superseding Indictment. The fraud charge comes with a maximum sentence of 30 years, while conspiracy to commit money laundering comes with a maximum sentence of 20 years. 

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Neither of the pair was asked to remain in custody, and Judge Dustin Pead reportedly ordered them to be released without bond, but the terms of release prohibit Shah and Smith from engaging in telemarketing while the case is pending. They are also prohibited from moving more than $10,000 from their personal bank accounts without getting permission from prosecutors first. 

"Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their 'success,'" HSI special agent-in-charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said. "In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people. As alleged, disturbingly, Shah and Smith 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."

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According to an Us Weekly source, "Jen is really humiliated that all of this is happening in the public eye and that it will be shown on Bravo." Shah joined RHOSLC for season one in 2019, and the scandal broke while filming season two. 

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"People will come to me and I’ll invest in their companies, so we have a got a lot of different investments, all different kinds of things," Shah described of her career on Access Hollywood’s "Housewives Nightcap" in November. "I’ve been able to do it because what I’ve been able to carve out, the niche I’ve been able to carve out in the direct response marketing world."

CNN was the first to report on the technical issues with Shah’s hearing. 


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