Jen Shah reacted to an angry photo of herself during a group lunch in a September 2020 tweet — the snapped setting similar to the Real Housewives of New Jersey star’s infamous table flipping scene.
“Teresa walked, so I could run,” Shah joked at the time.
Jen Shah, 47, and her assistant, Stuart Smith, 43, were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly stealing from hundreds of victims via a telemarketing scheme. They were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Court docs state that the duo could be facing 30 years in prison.
“Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success,’” a statement issued by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter Fitzhugh read. “In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.”
The pair marketed phony business services, including tax preparation, website design services, and coaching sessions to individuals, many of whom were over the age of 55. According to the indictment, their alleged scam ran for at least nine years, from 2012 until this month.
“Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television, and Stuart Smith, who is portrayed as Shah’s ‘first assistant,’ allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam. In actual reality and as alleged, the so-called business opportunities pushed on the victims by Shah, Smith, and their co-conspirators were just fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims’ money,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.
Prosecutors allege that Shah and Smith were running a complicated scheme which involved generating lists of potential victims, and selling the leads to telemarketing companies. The telemarketing companies would in turn try to sell the victims various business services. Shah and Smith would receive a share of the fraudulent revenue generated by the telemarketers.
Jen Shah and Smith were expected to appear before a judge on Tuesday afternoon.
Shah spoke to Page Six earlier this year, to share about her involvement in an “entrepreneur program” that was designed to help women amid the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“You’ll see some of that coming out and hearing their stories and seeing how we help their businesses grow,” she gushed in January.
Teresa Giudice, 48, was convicted on multiple counts of fraud in 2014, and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. She served just under a year at a Danbury, Connecticut federal prison. Her now ex-husband, Joe Giudice, served 41 months after being convicted on fraud charges, and was later deported to Italy.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is currently on hiatus.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Wednesdays at 9 pm, ET, on Bravo.