- Stuart Smith Faces 70 Years In Prison
Jen Shah‘s assistant Stuart Smith changed his plea to guilty in the pair’s ongoing legal case about their alleged involvement in a telemarketing scheme according to US Magazine.
“He pleaded guilty to three counts: conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice,” an attorney Ronald Richards, who is a former NBC legal analyst who is not affiliated with the case, stated.
Stuart who faces a maximum prison sentence of 30 years, will be sentenced in March 2022. “He admitted to hiding ownership and money, defrauding elderly people and lying to the Federal Trade Commission in a deposition, which constituted perjury,” Richards added.
The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City star, 48, and her Shah Squad member were arrested in March and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
“Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on ‘reality’ television, and Stuart Smith, who is portrayed as Shah’s ‘first assistant,’ allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam. “In actual reality and as alleged, the so-called business opportunities pushed on the victims by Shah, Smith, and their co-conspirators were just fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims’ money,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a press release at the time.
Days after the arrest, both Smith and Shah pleaded not guilty to the charges. In August, however, court documents suggested that Smith planned to change his plea.
“Mr. Smith is working diligently towards a resolution of his case. I am confident his case will be resolved without the necessity of a trial and I hereby request that we be excused from the August 10, 2021,” his attorney wrote in a letter to the U.S. District judge at the time.
Richards speculated at the time that the filing was a sign Stuart was going to “most likely flip” on his former boss. Jen’s trial was originally scheduled to begin in October 2021 but was pushed back to March 2022, seemingly because of delays related to coronavirus protocols.
Earlier this year, the reality star asked a judge to throw out the entire case against her, claiming that her dry contact lenses caused her to waive her Miranda rights without understanding what she was doing. That request was denied.