After Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah was indicted for her alleged role in a long-running telemarketing scheme, the Bravo personality pleaded not guilty to the charges at her arraignment on Friday, April 2.
Shah and her assistant Stuart Smith were arrested on Tuesday and both were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection to an alleged telemarketing ploy and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
As OK! previously reported, from 2012-March 2021, Shah and her assistant 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.
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. They have been accused of allegedly victimizing 10 or more persons over the age of 55.
Neither of the pair were originally 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kiersten Fletcher requested an update to Shah’s bail conditions during Friday’s arraignment. U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein accepted her request and ordered Shah to put up a $1 million personal recognizance bond secured by $250,000 in cash or property. She will have two weeks to comply with the new conditions and must turn over her passport to the court, according to PEOPLE.
Friday’s proceeding was originally planned for earlier in the week, but as OK! reported, the court arraignment was rescheduled after technical issues arose when more than 250 people called in to the virtual hearing on Wednesday, March 31.
After their arrest, Homeland Security Investigations special agent-in-charge Peter C. Fitzhugh released a statement saying, "Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their 'success,'" he said, adding: "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."