Jen Shah’s request to dismiss the fraud charges against her was shot down by a judge, on Friday. The “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star will be forced to face the charges after Judge Sidney H. Stein refused to toss the case.
“Dismissal of an indictment is an extreme sanction that is to be utilized only in the rare case,” wrote Judge Stein, in a document obtained by People.
The reality star claimed that two special Department of Homeland Security agents stepped out of line in a recently released Hulu documentary and asked that all charges be dropped.
Jen, 48, contended that the agents made statements in “The Housewife & the Shah Shocker” that were “highly prejudicial” and could influence the jury pool, per a report by TMZ. The Bravo star argued that the men revealed details about the ongoing investigation that were not available to the public, and shared commentary about the “lavish lifestyle” of “fraudsters.” Jen noted comments made by Agent Rick Patel, who spoke about the circumstances surrounding her arrest. Agent Agnieszka Norman made statements about Jen allegedly hiding funds in offshore accounts, and suggested that the case against the reality star stemmed from a narcotics smuggling ring investigation.
“The folks that are behind this are pros at what they do. It is disgusting,” Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Rick Patel said in the documentary. ”And what we’d like to tell any victim is, it’s not your fault, please come forward, because we need your help to make sure this doesn’t happen to more people.”
Jen wanted the federal agents to face sanctions and believed that the upcoming trial should screech to a halt.
However, the judge stated that that there was “no evidence whatsoever” to back Jen’s claim that the trial could be compromised by the Hulu special.
Jen’s trial is scheduled to begin in March.
Jen was arrested in March and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection to a telemarketing operation. Jen is one of six suspects, one of which is her assistant, Stuart Smith. The reality star was accused of selling “lead lists” and hawking supposedly fake business opportunities to vulnerable targets. Jen and Stuart both pleaded not guilty in April, but Stuart flipped earlier this month, pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Stuart confessed to “misleading customers,” and told the court that a company called Mystery Pro was created “to hide actual ownership of the corporation.”
Stuart, 43, was released on bail and his sentencing has been set for March 3. He reportedly read a statement where he admitted to crimes linked to various telemarketing companies that he was involved in creating, between 2008-2021.
His statement read—“I knowingly and intentionally discussed and engaged with other individuals to develop a plan or operation to obtain money by false representation by offering and inducing individuals, many of whom were over 50 years of age or older, to provide money to entities that I and others were involved with.”
“The Housewife & the Shah Shocker” is currently streaming on Hulu.
Nancy Zhāng is an Entertainment Blogger for All About The Tea. Nancy covers hot topics, recaps and celeb news. She loves to multi-task as a writer and a private chef. She received a B.S. in Mass Communications from LSU. Nancy’s married and the proud mom of 2 German Shepherds.