Jen Shah, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star who is accused of running a nationwide telemarketing fraud program, called on Monday for the government’s case to be dropped.
Shah’s attorneys argued in court documents that an indictment against her and alleged co-conspirator Stuart Smith of conspiracy to commit wire transfer fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering “is not at all clear”.
The attorneys said prosecutors used “vague language and sleight of hand” in the indictment while also showing 1.3 million documents as part of their discovery.
“This information cannot be adequately verified for a lifetime and, as we argue below, requires the government to substantiate the indictment in a way that does not replace this relatively plain indictment,” wrote Shah’s lawyers.
“The indictment nowhere as necessary claims facts sufficient to prove that Ms. Shah joined this alleged conspiracy willfully and with specific intent to defraud telemarketing buyers,” they added. “Therefore, this indictment should be dismissed because the alleged facts, even if taken as true, are not sufficient to support the crimes charged.”
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Federal authorities claim that Shah, 47, and her “first assistant” Smith conspired to deceive the elderly and computer illiterate by running nationwide telemarketing and personal sales teams that sell “essentially nonexistent” services Combat efforts by consumers would receive refunds.
âShah and Smith went to great lengths to hide their roles in the Business Opportunity Scheme. Among other things, Shah and Smith established their business units under the name of Third Parties, âsaid an indictment in the Southern District of New York.
The alleged fraud began in 2012 and lasted until 2021, according to the Justice Department.
Shah and Smith have both pleaded not guilty.
Shah’s lawyers also wrote in the document filed Monday that she was “incredibly confused and emotionally out of whack” when she was arrested in Salt Lake City in March.
When a New York Police Department detective first contacted her, she thought he was calling to discuss a protection order she had against a man who bullied her in New York, they added.
After she was handcuffed, Shah thought she “may have been the victim of a false ID,” her lawyers said.
In an effort to clarify, she waived her Miranda rights, her lawyers said. Even though the detective read them to her, Shah couldn’t read every statement when she initialed them as the lawyers said his contacts were dry.
“Although Ms. Shah waived her Miranda rights, she did so not voluntarily, but as a direct result of law enforcement deception and tricks aimed at overwhelming her will,” they wrote.
Shah was “forced” to speak to the detective for about an hour and 20 minutes, “although it didn’t work – Ms. Shah never admitted to cheating,” the lawyers said. Even so, they still demand that their statements to the detective be discarded if their motion to dismiss the entire case is denied.