'RHOSLC': A Breakdown of Jen Shah's 2 Counts of Fraud, According to an Attorney

Just one season into Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Jen Shah has already made waves with her big personality and lavish life. But recently she managed to outdo everything that had happened before when she was arrested and charged with two counts of fraud. Bravo seems ready to air as much as possible of the arrest during the next season and to follow the story as far as it goes. But lots of people still aren’t sure exactly what she’s charged with. On a recent episode of Danny Pellegrino’s podcast, attorney Bryant Greening explained the charges. And it looks like it’s pretty serious. 

Jen Shah’s role on ‘RHOSLC’

According to Slice, when season one of RHOSLC debuted, viewers were happy to see Shah bring an unusual touch of diversity to the cast. She introduced herself as Tongan, Hawaiian, and “a little bit” Chinese. But her time on the show hasn’t been an exploration of her heritage so much as her drama. Shah has a knack for spectacle, even in the Real Housewives world. 

“I think people would probably say I bring the most drama, but I’m just reacting how I normally would,” she said. “Yeah, I’m going to get pissed and throw glass. Like, that’s normally how I would react.” Her time in front of the cameras has demonstrated her lavish life, with a team of ever-present assistants. Her husband, Sharrieff Shah, is a football coach for the University of Utah, and his impressive salary is well supplemented by her business ventures — whatever they might be. 

Her businesses aren’t well understood

Bravo TV reports that during the Season 1 reunion show, Andy Cohen asked Shah about her businesses because many people weren’t sure exactly what she does. She explained her background:

“My background is in direct response marketing for about 20 years, so our company does advertising. We have a platform that helps people acquire customers, so when you’re shopping online or on the Internet, and something pops, we have the algorithm behind why you’re getting served that ad.” 

This information didn’t really clear things up. Fellow cast member Heather Gay admitted that she still doesn’t understand what that means. But it seems that authorities do have some insight into Shah’s business dealings. She was recently arrested and charged with two counts of fraud. 

What do the charges mean?

On a recent episode of the podcast Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino, he spoke to Greening, who is a lawyer, about the charges Shah is facing. Greening explained, “She’s been charged with two counts. One is the conspiracy to commit wire fraud. And the other is conspiracy to commit money laundering.” He went on to explain that wire fraud is when someone “engages in a scheme to defraud others using false representations,” and has transactions related to that fraud across state lines.

“So just the act of defrauding somebody over a wire, over a line, can be a federal charge.” The second charge, money laundering, simply means that she used money that came from illegal activity. “The bottom line is she is charged with very serious offenses of defrauding people out of money, tricking people into giving her money, and if the allegations are true, she’s gonna pay the price.” Pellegrino commented that it was surprising that Shah’s husband didn’t seem to know about what was going on with his wife’s business. 

“Some people are very good at concealing their crimes; some people work in tandem,” Greening responded. “I can’t speculate specifically in this case, but I can tell you there is the opportunity to have a superseding indictment, meaning if there are other people who are guilty here or who had knowledge of what was going on, they could later be brought into the case.” 

It’s clear that not all the facts have been revealed yet in this case. If Greening is right, it’s possible that other people could still be arrested for their part in the case. Shah is adamant that she’s innocent of the charges. Many viewers will be waiting to see if the courts agree. 

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