RHOSLC star Jen Shah’s assistant Stuart Smith changes his plea to GUILTY in $5m telemarketing scam… and could now face 70 YEARS jail time
- Stuart Smith, 43, and his boss Jen Shah, 48, plead not guilty in July this year
- They’re both accused of defrauding the elderly in a $5m telemarketing scam
- Smith has now changed his plea to guilty during a Friday court appearance
- Judge Sidney H. Stein stated the maximum jail time for three charges is 70 years
Jen Shah’s assistant Stuart Smith has changed his plea to guilty in the case where he and the reality star have been accused of scamming elderly people in a $5million telemarketing scam.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen, 48, has maintained her innocence in the fraud trial, and her assistant Stuart had initially plead not guilty over his alleged involvement in the scheme.
Jen could face up to 30 years jail time if found guilty and both she and her employee Stuart had plead not guilty during an arraignment in July – but has now flipped his story.
Pictured: RHOSLC star Jen Shah’s assistant Stuart Smith (above) has changed his plea to GUILTY in $5m telemarketing scam… and could now face 70 YEARS jail time
Stuart, 43, changed his plea to guilty during an appearance before Southern District of New York Judge Sidney H. Stein on Friday, PEOPLE reports.
He has now been released on bail with his sentencing has been set for March 3.
Judge Stein stated that the maximum combined sentence for the three charges is 70 years in prison.
Per the report, he was arrested and charged in March with the following charges: one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of obstructing an official proceeding.
What does this mean for Jen? Shah has maintained her innocence in the shocking case
Court documents allege that he victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55 in the elaborate scam.
According to PEOPLE, Smith read out a statement where he admitted to his crimes involving various telemarketing companies that he worked for or helped create between 2008 and 2021.
His statement began: ‘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.’
Coming clean: Shah’s assistant (pictured above with her on the show) has admitted to knowingly defrauding elderly people in an elaborate telemarketing scam
Smith continued saying that he ‘became aware that these telemarketing companies were misleading customers of those entities by selling individuals, many of them who were older than 50 years of age, information that purported to be services to enhance their business opportunities.’
He added: ‘The services sold were of no value and of no real benefit to the customer.’
In July, both Shah and Smith were placed by federal agents into a group of suspects with ‘greater culpability’ in the scheme.
TMZ reported at the time that the duo and four others were moved into the US Attorney’s ‘Tier A’ category for the alleged crimes targeting elderly people, accusing Shah of ‘orchestrating’ the scam.
According to legal documents obtained by the site, the prosecutor claims the group of individuals, including Shah and Smith, were ‘senior participants’ in the alleged scheme, and ‘continued to participate’ even when they were made aware ‘criminal charges could be coming.’
The US Attorney said that the ‘Tier A’ suspect were ‘responsible for orchestrating the broader scheme’ and named Shah specifically as someone who ‘obtained leads directly from lead sources and provided them to, among others, coaching sales floors operated in Utah and Nevada.’
Will it end in tears? Shah is seen having an emotional moment on the Bravo show