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Jen Shah Hit With 78 Months For Fraud After Judge Grants Inner City Press Motion to Unseal

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Order Vlog

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 6 –  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.

 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 - and the sentencing, below.

On December 16, 2022 Shah's lawyer in a heavily redacted submission asked for 36 months, far below the plea deal. Exhibit list  along with redacted statement by Jen Shah on Patreon here.  Inner City Press emailed opposition to the redactions, to Shah's lawyer (no response) and elsewhere - then filed it.

On January 4, Judge Stein ruled: "IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant Shah is directed to respond to the application of Inner City Press [Doc. No. 648] to unseal certain portions of Shah's sentencing memorandum and an exhibit to the government's sentencing memorandum in writing on or before 12:00 p.m. on January 5, 2023."

On January 5 at noon, Shah's lawyer filed not any unredacted memo, but a threat to withdraw the exhibits if Judge Stein rules in favor of Inner City. Letter on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud here.

Less than an hour later, Inner City Press filed a reply: "This replies to defense counsel's argument that the sentencing materials submitted for the Court's consideration can be withdrawn. But they are judicial documents. And citing to pre-guilty plea rulings on motions in limine is unavailing.   Most offensive is the claim that Exhibit D, the defendant's own statement asking for a substantially below Guidelines sentence, has been redacted in conformity to rules and precedent. It has not.   The second paragraph starts, "In 2016, my life hit a serious crossroad" - then three lines are redacted. The third paragraph begins with a sentence about the defendant's husband - then a full page is redacted.    This is unheard of. Contrast it to the January 4, 2023 resentencing of Raymond Quiles, who cooperated with the government about and was ready to testify against this defendant. The courtroom was not sealed; his arguments for mercy, about his autistic son (whose name was given) and his floundering business were all public.   Why should Jen Shah be given substantially more secrecy than Raymond Quiles?    This statement, intended to procure a lighter sentence, cannot be withdrawn and must be unredacted."

On January 6, Jen Shah was sentenced to 78 months in prison, after Judge Stein largely granted Inner City Press' application to unseal (though not, it seems, until January 9). Inner City Press live tweeted, thread here:

All rise!

Judge Stein: ... These are in fact judicial documents, that is what I have discussed with the parties in the robing room. There will be certain redactions but the rest will be released.

 Chaudhry: Jen hoped that the TV spotlight would hide her pain. She spent years trying to hide her feeling, to fake it until she make it. She tried not to see the people who lost money. Her original fraud was on herself

Judge Stein: Her activity in this crime took place years before the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City started. So you are saying her hunger for trinkets predates the show? Chaudhry: Yes. She was lost. Then in July she say the information from the victims

 Chaudhry: She SAW the info from victims, and pled guilty. She began on Hawaii, a land of elders. Now elders, her victims, are teaching her. She regrets the mistakes she has made. She is sorry. She had faith in our justice system. Jen will pay her debt to society

 Judge Stein: She moved her operations to Cyprus and Kosovo, after the FTC investigation, and the indictment in the other case [USA v. Ketabchi et al, 17-cr-243

 AUSA: Nothing like it has been seen in this case before. There is not only message from her that expresses any type of remorse, not 1. The defense hasn't submitted any. That's not how she felt even when she pled guilty. Our evidence was devasting, a month of trial

 AUSA: Even after arrest, she just sold merchandise. It's an aggravating factor. There were young and disabled people in your case earlier this week

AUSA: We proposed 120 months, which is a downward variance. Below that would be a disparity. Another, less culpable, got 72 months. Jen Shah committed obstruction, of the FTC and out investigation.

 Judge Stein: Ms. Shah, I'm prepared to listen to you. Jen Shah: You and the world know me as Jen Shah.

 Jen Shah: But reality TV has nothing to do with reality, even my tagline, Shah-mazing - they wrote it. I want to speak about who I am (sobs) I stand before you as an immigrant from Tonga and Hawaii. The elderly command the most respect. I am the family matriarch

Jen Shah: The principles are humility and loyalty and respect. I have come to terms I have gone against these. I am sorry. My actions have hurt innocent people. I want to apologize by saying, I am doing all I can to earn the funds to pay restitution.

 Jen Shah: I would say each victim's name if I could. But Federal privacy laws prevent it. Judge Stein: How will you raise the $6 million in restitiution? Jen Shah: My manager is here, we're working on things. Judge Stein: While in prison? Jen Shah: Yes. Judge Stein: You're still in the cast? Jen Shah: Yes.

 Jen Shah: I sold merchandise about this case through a third party vendor. I will devote it to the victims. Thank you for reviewing my sensitive information. Longstanding untreated mental issues caused me to create my own fractured reality

 Jen Shah: This is a crucible moment for me. With the proper medication I can now see what happened. I wish I could have stood outside myself. I am sorry. I have found solace in my volunteer work, with anti racism organizations and the LGBT community

 Jen Shah: To my baby Omar, Mommy is so sorry you were woken up at gunpoint. My late father, I want to tell him I am sorry. I am humbled by your love for me. Thank you Judge Stein.

Judge Stein: Thank *you.* Anything else? Chaudhry: No. Judge Stein: My intention is to impose a sentence of 78 months of incarceration, and other conditions. Any formal objection to the procedure?  Chaudry: No.

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