Jen Shah legal update: the 'Real Housewife' gets sentenced for wire fraud scheme

Here are the answers to all Bravo fans' burning questions

Jen Shah of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
(Image credit: Heidi Gutman/Bravo)

There's been a major Jen Shah legal update.

Fans of Bravo and the Real Housewives franchise are no strangers to drama, however, the Jen Shah court case regarding her wire fraud scheme has left them reeling for well over a year. Now, the Salt Lake City reality star's fate has been revealed.

On January 6, 2023, Jen Shah was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison as well as five years supervised release. She'll be jailed in Texas and must surrender to federal prison on February 17. 

“With today’s sentence, Jennifer Shah finally faces the consequences of the many years she spent targeting vulnerable, elderly victims," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, according to NBC News.

The outlet further reports that Shah's attorney, defense lawyer Priya Chaudhry, said, "Jen has faith in our justice system, understands that anyone who breaks the law will be punished, and accepts this sentence as just. Jen will pay her debt to society and when she is a free woman again, she vows to pay her debt to the victims harmed by her mistakes."

Jen Shah wire fraud case—what happened?

In the midst of filming with Bravo, Shah was indicted for her alleged participation in a telemarketing scheme with the help of her assistant, Stuart Smith. Smith, who faces up to 70 years in prison, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty during a November 2021 hearing. He was sentenced in March 2022, though an update is not available at this time. 

The Real Housewife has maintained her innocence throughout 2022, but she ultimately pleaded guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in federal court on Monday, July 11, 2022 in New York City. She further admitted to Judge Sidney H. Stein that she had committed "wire fraud, offering services with little to no value," according to People. When the judge asked if she knew she was participating in illegal activity, she replied, "Yes, your Honor."

Jen Shah sentence

Shah could have possibly faced up to 14 years in prison. According to NBC, she agreed to forfeit $6.5 million and to pay restitution up to $9.5 million in 2022.

Like many of our go-to shows about gossip and drama, the Housewives franchise certainly can feel chaotic at times, but this particular development isn't one fans saw coming, and it made for an unexpected RHOSLC season 3 (and prior). We'll be sure to update you about what comes next for Shah. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.