The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City cast member Jen Shah and her assistant Stuart Smith have both been arrested and charged with counts of conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering.
Jen Shah and Stuart Smith were arrested on Tuesday, March 30th, and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The New York Police Department alleged the reality star and her assistant had been a part of a fraudulent telemarketing scheme since 2012. It’s alleged they sold victims, who were largely over 55 and without computers, fraudulent “online business services” which didn’t earn the promised results, before selling their information along to other schemes.
Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a press statement:
“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. Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes.”
Who is Stuart Smith from The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City?
Unlike Jen Shah, 43-year-old Stuart was not a main cast member on the show, but did have a recurring role in many episodes. The show introduced him as Jen’s first assistant and part of her work team dubbed the ‘Shah Squad’.
On Instagram, Jen celebrated her close friendship with Stuart with a birthday post almost two weeks ago. Nicknaming him ‘Stuchainz’, she credited his “loyalty” and “unconditional love”.
“Some people come into your life for a reason…they are with you through the highs and lows, they are steadfast in their loyalty and love. There’s no one else like you,” she wrote. “Thank you for being by my side from Day #1. I love you and am so grateful for your friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, support and unconditional love.”
John Franchi, a local Fox reporter, reported on Twitter that both Jen Shah and Stuart Smith have been ordered by the court to have no contact with one another.
Will the arrest be on the show?
It’s currently unconfirmed if the arrest, and future legal proceedings, will appear on the show. However, Andy Cohen confirmed to Variety that Real Housewives of Salt Lake City had started filming recently.
Variety also reports that a source confirmed the cast had been filming when the police arrived, but that Jen had already left citing an “emergency with her husband”. However this is unconfirmed.