A judge said Friday that he'll show a member of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” some leniency when he decides how much time she must spend in prison for defrauding thousands of people nationwide in a telemarketing scam, many of them older. But he said he won't grant her request that she only spend three years in prison.
The fate of Jennifer Shah was in the hands of U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein, who presided over her guilty plea in July to a conspiracy charge for participating in a massive fraud for nearly a decade.
At the start of Shah's sentencing hearing, Stein said he won't sentence Shah to the 11 years or more recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, but he also won't grant a defense request that she only spend three years in prison.
He also cautioned a packed courtroom that he was not sentencing the person who people see on television.
Stein said that person is “simply a character. It's acting."
He said the housewives program “involves role playing ... It's a heavily scripted operation."
Prosecutors said in a presentence submission that Shah should get a decade in prison, saying she used profits from her fraud to live a life of luxury that included a nearly 10,000-square-foot mansion with eight fireplaces dubbed “Shah Ski Chalet" in the resort haven of Park City, Utah. The home, they said, is now listed for sale for $7.4 million.