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In Telemarketing Case Stuart Smith Pleads Guilty As Jen Shah of RHOSLC Has Trial March 7

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Order
BBC The Times (UK) Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 19 –  Five defendants in a telemarketing scheme were presented past 8 pm on November 20, 2019 in the Magistrates Court of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The government proposed that while they could be released on their own signatures that night, but asked that they get pre-approval from Pre-Trial Services for any expenditure above $10,000. 

 On April 2, 2021 Jen Shah of Real Housewifes Of Salt Lake City was arraigned in the same case - and a $1 million bond, with $250,000 of it secured by case or property, required. Inner City Press live tweeted that, below.

On August 10, Shah and two co-defendants hearing to trial, now in March 2022, appeared in SDNY and Inner City Press live tweeted it below.

On November 19, Shah's co-defendant Stuart Smith came to plead guilty. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

now Jennifer Shah's co-defendant Stuart Smith is appearing at noon before SDNY  Judge Sidney Stein - in order to plead guilty.

Stuart Smith: I am 43 and got a bachelors degree in Sociology. Judge Stein: Mental illness? Smith: No. Judge Stein: Any pills? Smith: Pills to sleep at night.

Judge Stein: You are charged in count 1 with wire fraud in tele-marketing. In count 2, money laundering. In count 3, obstructing an official proceeding.

 Assistant UN Attorney Fletcher: 1 correction - in count one he is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud

 AUSA Fletcher: Someone thinks I'm not a participant and keeps muting me. [Note: This change of plea is being done with a public call-in line, unlike the upcoming US v. #GhislaineMaxwell, for which Inner City Press has requested a line

 Judge Stein: Tell me what you did. Defense lawyer: He'll read it, he wrote it yesterday. Judge Stein: Read slowly, though. Stuart Smith: I knowingly planned with others to obtain money by offering many elderly individuals to entities I was involved in.

 Stuart Smith: I was involved in fulfillment companies in Utah. Also, Wyoming, which helps hide the ownership of corporations. I was aware it was misleading. We sold marketing that was of no value.

 AUSA: Please confirm there were at least 10 victims over the age of 55.

Stuart Smith: Yes. AUSA: The interstate wires, we proffer that Mastery Pro Group has offices in the SDNY and contacted victims outside of the District.

AUSA: And the official proceeding he obstructed was an FTC investigation conducted in the SDNY. We would prove this with testimony of victims.


From August 10: It's telemarketing scam case involving Jen Shah of RHOSLC - she is present, Judge Stein says there [was] be a trial in Oct of 3 defendants: Shah, Allen & Brewster.

 There have been some guilty pleas in the case unsealed. But headed to trial: Jen Shaw, Chad Allen and Cameron Brewster. Judge Stein: The court is tightening up amid COVID. Unlikely we can try three defendants at once, on October 18.  We have to ask the Committee

 Judge Stein: We can't be COVID compliance with three defendants, particularly with the Delta variant. Everyone has to be masked and socially distanced. For 3 defendants, we'd have to put it past the fourth quarter.

 AUSA: Jen Shah operated primarily out of Utah, with Cameron Brewster - so if the Court wants to sever, those two could go other, and Chad Allen be separate, in another state. We won't want multiple witnesses testifying twice.

Judge Stein: If there are three defendants going to trial, the Court has no interest in trying the case twice. I'd say, move it to the first quarter of 2022. I think COVID will still be with us and we will have to abide by the Ad Hoc Committee's assignments

 Jason Foy for Chad Allen: I had a trial before Judge Ramos that ended on Friday [Inner City Press covered that too, here ]

Foy: I want to be available for my incarcerated clients, incl in the state courts, in 4th quarter. So how about March 2022? Another of the defense lawyers is asked by Judge Stein, what about your trial in Chicago? Answer: I wish it was in Chicago. It's actually in southern Illinois. And I haven't told them I'm busy. AUSA: We can live with March 2022.

Judge Stein: How long is the trial?

AUSA: 3 to 4 weeks. Not accounting for any lengthy defense case. Judge Stein: I will put in for March 7, 9:30 am for the trial. Feb 15, 10 am for the final pre-trial conference.  AUSA: Let's exclude time to March 7.

Jen Shah's lawyer: Ms. Shah wanted to go faster. But of course there's COVID. With a March 7 date, I expect only two defendants can go forward. She'll want March 7. Judge Stein: She wants to have her day in court asap? She wants priority? A: Yes.

Jen Shah's lawyer Priya Chaudhry: On the bill of particulars, which was argued by Mr Alonso of the Buckley firm, the court indicated that the government should be providing the defense with more info. US said they would, that's in your Order.

 Shah's lawyer: They sent a list of 59 persons and entities. I asked the US, who are these people?  We still don't know Who What When Where Judge Stein: A bill of particulars is not designed for that. AUSA: The list is of the sales force and fulfillment co's.

Judge Stein: And victims? AUSA: No. That's separate. It was going to be 41, co-conspirators, sales force, fulfillment companies. After the conference we sought to update the list. So I'm not sure why this is coming to the court's attention.

Judge Stein: Is it the position of the US that each customer of the sale force was a victim? AUSA: It's conceivable that some of them did not have to be lied to. So many that individual would not be a victim. But if you're asking, Was this a scheme, we say Yes.

 AUSA: Now that we have the March trial date, we'll answer questions about discovery from counsel to Ms. Shah and her co-defendants. Judge Stein: So that's progress. Shah's lawyer: We're trying. Judge Stein: This could have been handled by the parties and the US.

Shah's lawyer: You wrote, 13 defendants charged with selling millions of dollars of non-existent services to elderly customers. Judge Stein: I said, the indictment charges X. The Court has no view of the merits. Nor will it. That's for the jury.

On August 5, Shah and a co-defendant had a slew of motions denied. Order. 

SDNY Judge Sidney Stein tried to do this arraignment on March 31, but the technology broke down. Now there's an echo but it's going forward. Judge Stein: Ms. Shah, have you read the indictment? Shah: Yes, I have. And I waive the public reading.

Judge Stein: How do you plead to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering? Shah: Not guilty. Judge Stein: Let me turn to Mr. Smith.

 Judge Stein: Mr. Smith, how do you plead? Smith: Not guilty. Judge Stein: Let's talk about bail conditions. Ms. Shah you were released by a Magistrate in Utah.

Assistant US Attorney: We have a proposal on conditions. There are some on which there is a dispute.

AUSA: In Utah, Ms. Shah posted no cash. We propose a $1 million bond, secured by $250,000 in cash or property. On no contact with witnesses and victims, we want to specify that means those who purchased services, or sold them on sales floors. She can travel to DC

Judge Stein: You proposed no disbursements over $10,000 without permission. I'm going to lower it to $5000.  Defense: She is on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City but she doesn't take any credit cards for that.

Judge: Does the government have possession of Ms. Shah's passport? AUSA: It was expired, and we took it. If she has another, she should surrender it. Judge: What is the risk of flight? Ms. Shah, I've come to learn, is a participant in a popular television show.

 Judge: She is active on social media. It is unlikely she could disappear.

AUSA: We will make a proffer.  [Meanwhile, it dawns on Inner City Press these two are part of the largest US v. Cheedie case Inner City Press has covered, here

AUSA: The penalties for $5 million money laundering, it is not clear she would remain a public persona. In any event the persona is insufficient to ensure her return to court. So, a modest security. Judge: Is $250,000 modest? AUSA: She has access to it.

 Judge Stein: Let me here from the defense. Defense: We do not believe she has any active passport. She had hired us to defend her - she wants to fight this. Cash bond in not favored anyway around the country.

 Judge Stein: Does she receive a salary from any of her businesses, including the Real Housewives franchise? Defense: I don't know, I haven't spoken with my client about that.

2d Defense lawyer: She is an entrepreneur. She makes some money from the show, yes.

 Judge Stein: There is a risk of flight. It's not insubstantial. I'm to have her continued released, on condition of a bond of $1 million, with $250,000 secured by cash or property and 2 co-signers.

Judge Stein: She is to continue with her treatment. She can accept credit card charges for other businesses. No telemarketing.

Defense: Could we have 2 weeks for $250,000, since we're in Utah?

AUSA: Bonds can be handled remotely. 1 week.

Judge Stein: I'll do 2 weeks.

The case is US v. Cheedie, et al, 19-cr-833 (Stein).



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