Utah ‘Actual Housewives’ Star Strikes For Dismissal Of Fraud Case | Nationwide
SALT LAKE CITY – “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah and her lawyers this week asked a federal judge in New York to dismiss her fraud charges because officials allegedly forced her to look at her Miranda Waiver rights when she was arrested in Utah.
Shah, 47, and her assistant have been charged in a telemarketing program that federal prosecutors say took advantage of hundreds of “vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Both pleaded not guilty on several occasions.
Shah faces multiple charges of conspiracy to commit wire transfer fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Prosecutors said the program tricked people into investing in an online “business opportunity” and then sold them tax preparation or website design services, even though many of the people do not own computers.
Prosecutors accused Shah and her assistants of selling lists of potential victims created from telemarketing “retail space” in Utah, Arizona, Nevada and elsewhere. The retail space owners reportedly worked with telemarketing businesses in New York and New Jersey.
Shah was arrested in Salt Lake City on March 30 by New York detective Christopher Bastos after she received a confusing phone call. She believed the call was tied to a protection warrant she had against a man who once assaulted her and was convicted of several crimes in New York. She received another call from Bastos who believed it was also linked to the protection order.
Bastos, who told Shah to stop when she was driving to a shoot in Utah, arrested her as a suspect in the telemarking fraud case. But when Shah asked if she was going to jail, she told officers that Bastos made her believe that she “might be in danger and that the police might be there to help me”.
Shah’s lawyers argue that she was coerced, indicating that Bastos knew her story with the man prosecutors said was also involved in the scheme with Shah and her assistant.
“Although Ms. Shah waived her Miranda rights, she did so not voluntarily but as a direct result of deception and tricks by law enforcement agencies designed to overwhelm her will,” her lawyers said.
Their attorneys also said the prosecutors did not provide enough information to keep the case going to raise funds through unspecified accounts with unspecified financial institutions at unspecified times over a period of eight or nine years. “
Prosecutors have argued that they disclosed more than a million documents and the contents of hundreds of electronic devices, which defense lawyers believe makes it impossible to understand certain allegations. Shah’s lawyers argue that she wasn’t the only one who lied to Bastos. They said some evidence was uncovered in searches authorized based on police statements that were inaccurate or incomplete.
They argued Bastos described Shah as the “operator” of two companies that allegedly did business in the retail space, but her lawyers said she was “middle management” of one and not an employee of the other.
As a result, attorneys argued that Bastos falsely inflated Shah’s involvement.
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