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In SDNY Jen Shah Pled Guilty for 168 Month Deal Now Sentencing Delayed to Dec 15

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 7 –  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 Housewives 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 July 11, 2022, a week before trial, at 10 am this was sent out by the prosecutors: "10:30 a.m. – proceeding of interest in U.S. v. Jennifer Shah – the defendant is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering – before Judge Stein (courtroom 23A, 500 Pearl Street)." It connoted a guilty plea, as Inner City Press immediately noted - before going and live tweeted it, here: (then vlog here)
(and now plea deal on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud here)

Ok - Jen Shah of RHOSLC is here in Courtroom 23A, it's for "change of plea" (to guilty). Inner City Press has been covering the case, even before Shah was added to it, and will live tweet, thread follows:

All rise! Judge Sidney Stein: Ms. Shah, do you wish to plead guilty to Count 1 of the indictment?

Shah: Yes, your Honor.

Judge Stein: I will need to ask you certain questions... Judge Stein: If there were a trial, you could see and hear all the witnesses against you and your attorney could cross examine them. Do you understand those rights?

 Shah: Yes, your Honor.

Judge Stein: You will be giving up all of these rights and there will be no trial - do you understand? Shah: Yes your Honor. Judge Stein: Did you read the indictment? Shah: Yes I did.

 Judge Stein: You are charged in Count 1 with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing, do you understand? Shah: Yes your Honor. Judge: AUSA Fletcher, set forth the elements. AUSA: An agreement to violate the law, and entered it knowingly

Judge Stein: Do you understand that the maximum penalty is 30 years in prison? Shah: Yes your Honor. [Presumably there is a plea agreement that will be made public in this proceeding, watch this feed]

Note: To get guilty plea to Count 1, US dropping Count 2, Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, "from 2012 to Nov 2019."

Judge Stein: You understand you will lose valuable civil rights, including the right to vote and bear arms? Shah: I do.

Judge Stein: After I receive your pre-sentencing report I will determine guidelines, which in any event do not bind me. Do you understand that the system of parole has been abolished, except for "good time credit" at the facility where you are located? Shah: Yes.

 Judge Stein: I have before me a document sent to you and your lawyers. Did you read it before you signed it? Shah: Yes.  Judge Stein: Are there any side deals I should know about? Shah: No, your Honor.

Judge Stein: In this agreement you've agreed not to appeal if I sentence you to 168 months in prison or fewer?

Shah: Yes your Honor. Judge Stein: And you've agreed to forfeit $6 million, and restitution of $9 million? Shah: Yes, your Honor.

Judge Stein: Ms. Shah, what did you do? Shah: Wire fraud, offering services with little to no value. We used interstate telephones and emails. I knew many of the purchasers were over the age of 55. I am so sorry.

 Judge Stein: What is the reason they bought? Shah: Misrepresentations, regarding the value of the product or service, of which it had little to none. Judge Stein: Did you know it was wrong and illegal? Shah: Yes your Honor.

Judge Stein: AUSA Fletcher, what proof does the government have? AUSA: We were made aware of FTC investigations against floors the defendant worked with. Between 2017 and 2021 beyond being a lead broker, she had a Manhattan based sales floor, she oversaw it.

AUSA: She did not put her name on bank accounts associated with the business. She only got paid in cash through a company credit card and a NYC apartment she lived in. She used encrypted applications, and moved operations off shore to Kosovo and incorp in Wyoming

 Judge Stein: What were these "biz opps"? AUSA Fletcher: So-called coaching services. 

Judge Stein: Ms. Shah, how do you now plead?

Shah: Guilty.

Judge Stein: Are you pleading because you are guilty? Shah: Yes.

Judge Stein: I am signing the consent order of forfeiture in the sum of $6,500,000. Ms. Shah, I find your plea is knowing... I accept your guilty plea & adjudge you guilty. Sentencing will be October 12- Shah's lawyer: We have a trial on October 11. Another date?

AUSA: How about the week before Thanksgiving? Shah's lawyer: How about the week after Thanksgiving? Judge Stein: I'll set it for Oct 12.  Shah's lawyer: This Oct 11 trial in the state court [not Shah] we've been waiting five years. Judge Stein: OK, submission Nov 7

[Formal schedule: Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings as to Jennifer Shah:Defense submissions due by 11/7/2022; Government submissions due by 11/14/2022; Sentencing set for 11/28/2022 at 02:30 PM before Judge Sidney H. Stein]

 Judge Stein: Continue to abide by your conditions of release. I'll see you at your sentencing. We are adjourned.

On October 7, sentencing was delayed to December 15: "ENDORSED LETTER as to (19-Cr-833-11) Jennifer Shah addressed to Judge Sidney H. Stein from AUSAs Kiersten A. Fletcher, Robert B. Sobelman, Sheb Swett, dated October 6, 2022 re: The Government respectfully submits this letter to request that the sentencing proceeding presently scheduled November 28, 2022, be adjourned in light of a scheduling conflict on the part of several members of the Government team. ENDORSEMENT: The sentencing is adjourned to December 15, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. The defense submissions is due on or before November 30, the government submission is due on or before December 1, 2022. SO ORDERED: ( Brief due by 11/30/2022. Responses to Brief due by 12/1/2022. Sentencing set for 12/15/2022 at 11:00 AM before Judge Sidney H. Stein. )(Signed by Judge Sidney H. Stein on 10/7/2022)."


Shah in the run up to the then-scheduled March 22, 2022 trial subpoenaed counsel for co-defendants and possible trial witnesses against her, for all communication with law enforcement including proffer sessions. The co-defendants have joined in a motion to quash.

The trial was pushed back: "The trial of this matter will commence on July 18, 2022, at 9:30 a.m., in Courtroom 23A."

On July 5 at 4:30 pm Judge Stein held a final pre-trial conference. Inner City Press attended and live tweeted it, thread here and below.

On July 8, cooperator Stuart Smith moved to quash a subpoena from Shah for all records concerning Red Steele / MDS. Full subpoena on Patreon here.

From July 5: OK -now in courtroom 23B is Jen Shah of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, final pre-trial conference before telemarketing fraud trial set for July 18/ Two lawyers with her at defense table.

 Judge entering - all rise! Judge Stein: We're ready for trial. The expert, I'm going to allow to testify about charge-back fraud. We will begin trial on July 18.

US estimates 2 weeks for its case, Shah's lawyer says they aim for 1 and 1/2 weeks for theirs. Judge Stein: we will not meet on July 25.  US wants six alternate jurors, due to COVID. Cites US v Shin trial.

Shah's Chaudrhy: we take no position. Judge: It's unwieldy, 16. Chaudhry: It's 18. Judge: I ask for this courtroom & will consider it.  Shah's other lawyer: We want Smith's FTC deposition exhibits

Shah's 2d lawyer: The lead investigator on this case has retired, he's now a contractor with the prosecution. We want his file.

Judge Stein: The cases you're citing are from the 5th and 9th Circuits...

Shah's 2d lawyer: Don't call Ms Shah's customers victims [citing Judge Liman's decision in trial of sex cultist Larry Ray] AUSA says the Ray decision was "wrongly decided."

Shah's lawyer: We'll be filing a motion under seal. Really? Adjourned.

On July 6, Judge Stein ordered: "ORDER as to Jennifer Shah: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the deposition testimony and all exhibits to the deposition of Stuart Smith dated June 18, 2018, and taken in connection with Federal Trade Commission v. Vision Solution Marketing, LLC, VSM Group, LLC, Ryze Services, LLC, et al., Case No. 2: 18-CV-00356-TC (D. Utah), be disclosed to the parties in the above-captioned matter in its entirety, including any portions designated confidential pursuant to a Protective Order. The testimony and exhibits disclosed are to be used solely in connection with the above-captioned action. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Sidney H. Stein on 7/6/2022)." But will they become judicial documents? Watch this site

On May 25 Judge Stein held an in-person oral argument - without Jen Shah present - and Inner City Press attended and live tweeted it here

Shah's 2 lawyers are here - but she is calling in. Judge Stein says he'll hear a "sealed motion in the robing room."

But first, Shah's bid to exclude that she withheld info from the IRS. Judge: She didn't report telemarketing income.  Shah's lawyer: She called it marketing, $150,000.

 Judge Stein: Jen Shah moved funds to #Kosovo AUSA: And she did not file or keep the required records.

h Still going. Jen Shah's lawyer says her husband Sharrieff Shah makes $500,000 a year as assistant football coach at University of Utah. Photo here.

Jen Shah's case is going sealed, into robing roo. Unclear the basis; Inner City Press will check docket. Watch this site.

On April 25 there was an in-person argument on Shah's subpoena for ABC's outtakes. Inner City Press was there, threadette:

Judge Stein tells Shah's lawyer he'll ask prospective jurors about the ABC program, which he says he doubts will have had impact (or been seen).

 Shah's lawyer notes that ABC is not subject to 3500, says Shah is entitled to the outtakes.

 Now Judge Stein is asking about the reporters' privilege

   On May 5 Judge Stein quashed the subpoena: "The journalists' privilege protects this information. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recognizes a journalists' privilege in light of the need "to protect the public's interest in being informed by a vigorous, aggressive and independent press." Chevron Corp. v. Berlinger, 629 F.3d 297,306 (2d Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The journalists' privilege is a qualified privilege that protects both confidential and nonconfidential press materials from disclosure. Gonzales v . Nat'l Broad. Co., Inc., 194 F.3d 29, 32 (2d Cir. 1999). The standards for overcoming the privilege are more rigorous for confidential sources than for nonconfidential ones. In order to secure disclosure of confidential materials and sources, the party seeking it must make "a clear and specific showing that the information is: highly material and relevant, necessary or critical to the maintenance of the claim, and not obtainable from other available sources." In re Petroleum Prods. Antitrust Litig., 680 F.2d 5, 7 (2d Cir. 1982). The party seeking disclosure of nonconfidential materials, however "is entitled to the requested discovery notwithstanding a valid assertion of the journalists' privilege if he can show that the materials at issue are of likely relevance to a significant issue in the case, and are not reasonably obtainable from other available sources." Gonzales, 194 F.3d at 36. Furthermore, the privilege applies in both civil and criminal cases. See United States v. Treacy, 639 F.3d 32, 43 (2d Cir. 2011); United States v. Burke, 700 F.2d 70, 77 (2d Cir. 1983) ("We see no legally-principled reason for drawing a distinction between civil and criminal cases when considering whether the reporter's interest in confidentiality should yield to the moving party's need for probative evidence.") The subpoena here, far broader in scope than the discovery Shah unsuccessfully sought from the government in the days following the documentary's first airing (ECF No. 406,418), concerns both confidential and nonconfidential information. To the extent that it seeks "[a]ny and all documents and communications concerning the interviews taken," it sweeps confidential information within its copious ambit." Inner City Press will stay on the case

On February 14, 2022, Cameron Brewster came before Judge Sidney H. Stein to plead guilty. Inner City Press covered it. Brewster had a seven page plea deal dated February 7, waiving most rights to appeal any sentence at or below 97 months.

  On December 1, 2021 Shah's lawyer filed a letter, which Inner City Press is publishing in full on Patreon here, demanding sanctions: "As the Court is aware, we represent Jennifer Shah in the above-referenced matter. We respectfully submit this letter concerning the Government’s flagrant violation of Local Criminal Rule 23.1 by members of the prosecutorial team. In a documentary which was released yesterday by ABC News and is available for streaming worldwide, two supervisory agents with Homeland Security Investigations gave interviews about Ms. Shah and opined on her involvement with the alleged scheme, her “lavish lifestyle,” and her alleged treatment of purported victims. These violations of Rule 23.1, as described herein, are reprehensible and severely jeopardize Ms. Shah’s right to a fair trial." Full letter on Patreon here.

 On December 3 the US replied, claiming that when it handed out exhibits in US v. Owimrin, "in accord with the Office's standard practices in responding to such requests from the press or public, the Office provided those materials."

But that's not true. When Inner City Press asked for the exhibits in the UN corruption case of US v. Ng Lap Seng, it was denied and had to FOIA. So too on Patrick Ho. Watch this site.

 Back 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.


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

SDNY Judge Sidney Stein tried to do the 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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