Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star, Jen Shah, is cashing in on the hype that comes with being embroiled in a federal criminal case. The reality star stunned fans when she announced that she was hawking a “Not Guilty” merchandise line, only months ahead of her scheduled trial.
Jen was arrested in March of last year and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection to a massive telemarketing operation. Prosecutors claim that she targeted elderly and vulnerable people to build lists for shady companies. The reality star has denied all of the allegations.
Jen is apparently looking to make lemonade out of lemons and is now charging $25-$30 for custom-made t-shirts.
In December, Jen requested that the charges against her be dismissed, but 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 Bravo star claimed that two special Department of Homeland Security agents stepped out of line in the Hulu documentary, “The Housewife & the Shah Shocker,” and asked that all charges be dropped.
Jen, 48, contended that the agents made statements in the documentary that were “highly prejudicial” and could influence the jury pool, per a report by TMZ.
The RHOSLC 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.
“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 be shut down.
However, the judge stated that there was “no evidence whatsoever” to back Jen’s claim that the trial could be compromised by the Hulu special.
Jen’s personal assistant, Stuart Smith, was also arrested and charged. He pleaded not guilty in April, but later flipped, 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.”
The documentary claimed that the company raked in at least $5 million.
Jen’s trial start date was delayed from March 22 to July 11, earlier this month.
Avigail is an Entertainment blogger at All About The Tea, who specializes in The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Potomac. Avigail has a background in marketing. She’s a Brooklynite living in the Bahamas, with a passion for travel, writing, reality TV watching, pop culture and spoken word.