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Disgraced Reality TV Star Jen Shah Fights with Feds over ‘Salacious’ Account of Her Alleged Affair on Eve of Fraud Sentencing

Jennifer Shah

Jennifer Shah (image via YouTube/Bravo TV)

Days before her sentencing, federal prosecutors told a judge that reality TV star turned fraudster Jennifer Shah was hit with a restraining order over an alleged affair.

The next day, Shah’s lawyer hit back against what she described as the “unreliable, salacious” allegations — confirming certain parts of the account, while disputing others.

Shah, formerly of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, could face a decade behind bars when sentenced on Friday morning for her role in a nationwide telemarketing scheme that targeted the elderly. She pleaded guilty to participating in a wire fraud conspiracy for purported coaching serves for online business opportunities, which she acknowledged had “little or no value.”

As she approaches a reckoning for that conduct, prosecutors alerted the court to Shah’s other alleged conduct that focuses more on her “character” than her crimes.

“The defendant has relied upon certain ‘descriptions of her character by her family and friends’ to attempt to justify her request for an extraordinary downward variance [in her sentencing],” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kiersten A. Fletcher told Senior U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein. “In response to the defendant’s portrayal of her ‘character’ in her public filing, a particular individual (“Individual-1”), with whom the Government had no previous communications, sent a brief, unsolicited letter to the Government about Individual-1’s experience with the defendant.”

Prosecutors say that the woman who came forward provided them with documentation of a temporary restraining order obtained against Shah in Nevada as well as a police report, both of which were filed into evidence under seal. However, the government asserts that the newly learned information belie Shah’s efforts to portray herself as a person of high character.

The restraining order stems from Shah allegedly having an affair with Individual-1’s husband in 2019. Individual-1 allegedly sent evidence of the affair to Shah’s husband, resulting in Shah driving to Nevada to confront Individual-1 in the middle of the night, according to court documents obtained by TMZ.

“Individual-1’s description of the manner in which the defendant treated her is consistent with the Government’s understanding of how the defendant frequently interacted with others, including other participants in the Business Opportunity Scheme,” the letter to the judge states.

Prosecutors previously asserted that Shah was “an integral leader of a wide-ranging, nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme” in which “victims were defrauded over and over again until they had nothing left.”

In July, Shah pleaded guilty to participating in a wire fraud conspiracy for purported coaching serves for online business opportunities, which she acknowledged had “little or no value.” She told Judge Stein that she knew that many of the purchasers were over the age of 55.

Prosecutors are seeking a 10-year sentence for Shah. Her defense team has requested a sentence of three years, calling her “an exceptional mother and a good woman who has already been punished extensively as a result of the sins of her past” in previous court filings.

Shah’s attorney, Priya Chaudhry, shot back with a stinging response to the government’s submission, saying it contains “salacious, scandalous, unproven, and irrelevant non-criminal allegations.” Chaudhry called those claims irrelevant to her character and said they have “no basis in this Court.”

According to Chaudhry, Individual-1 “recanted” the allegations against Shah in an email only four days after the alleged incident.

“In that email, the woman admits that she was wrong in accusing Ms. Shah of having an affair and further admits that her allegations were the result of her PTSD and an emotional state,” the filling states. “This information calls this woman’s credibility into grave doubt, and thus we immediately provided this email to the government and asked it to withdraw the submission.”

Chaudhry further maligns prosecutors for the filing, claiming that it serves only to embarrass Shah.

“[T]his entire escapade proves why this sort of unreliable, salacious nonsense has no place in a federal criminal sentencing,” she wrote. “Rather than focusing on the grave task of fashioning the just sentence for Ms. Shah, who has acknowledged her criminal wrongdoing, the government has wasted its own resources and the Court’s time, all the while needlessly embarrassing Ms. Shah thirty-six hours before the most important day of her life.”

Shah is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 6, 2023.

Read the two filings below.

[image via YouTube/Bravo TV]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.