Reality TV star Jen Shah is asking for leniency in her telemarketing scheme case.
Shah, a star of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, pleaded guilty in July to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after being busted for a telemarketing scheme, and she’s hoping a judge will give her a lesser sentence of three years in prison at her sentencing next month.
She also requested to serve her prison time at the federal prison in Bryan, Texas, CNN reports.
“The terrible business decisions I made and professional relationships I developed stemmed from some personal painful experiences that I was going through in my life,” Shah wrote in a four-page letter to the judge, per CNN.
In court documents, Shah’s attorneys contended that she wasn’t a “kingpin” of the scheme and never had direct contact with the victims. Prosecutors, however, accused her of coming up with leads who could be targeted.
“Jennifer Shah was a key participant in a nationwide scheme that targeted elderly, vulnerable victims,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement after Shah’s guilty plea. “These victims were sold false promises of financial security, but instead, Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it.”
In her plea deal, Shah faces 11 to 14 years in prison, according to advisor guidelines. The Probation Department, meanwhile, has proposed a six-year prison term, and prospectors will make a sentencing recommendation next week, CNN reports.
The news of Shah’s request for a reduced sentence came one day after she told fans she would not be participating in RHOSLC’s Season 3 reunion.
In an Instagram post, Shah said that Bravo executives told her in September she wasn’t invited to the reunion. She eventually got an invite months later, she said, but refused to discuss her legal troubles on the show.
“I was clear with Bravo that out of respect for the courts and a standing judicial order, I would not be in a position to discuss anything related to my legal case or sentencing,” she wrote. “Bravo found this unsatisfactory and said they expected to discuss this ‘storyline.’ That expectation has no regard for me or my family’s well-being; so under legal advice, I will not be attending [the] reunion. I need to focus on the most important thing in my life — my family.”
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Bravo