Jen Shah is in some deep sh*t.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star was arrested and charged in March with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing — through which she and other defendants allegedly victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55 — and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. She pleaded not guilty in April.
Shah, 47, recently filed pre-trial motions, which included requests to have her charges dismissed and to suppress her post-arrest statements entirely along with evidence seized in warrants. All motions were denied in court, PEOPLE has confirmed.
U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein wrote in an Aug. 5 filing that in this case of an alleged “extensive, long-running telemarketing fraud conspiracy that sold millions of dollars of essentially nonexistent services and products to elderly, unsophisticated consumers,” Shah’s motion to dismiss the indictment because there’s no proof she “joined the conspiracy willfully and with the specific intent to defraud” doesn’t survive “even cursory scrutiny.”
Shah had previously claimed she did not properly understand her Miranda rights because she was suffering from “blurry vision” due to “dry” contact lenses and thus “was unable to read” the waiver in front of her when she signed it. She also claimed law enforcement misled her to get incriminating statements from her, and said she was “confused and emotionally off-balance” at that moment.
Responding to Shah’s request to dismiss her post-arrest statements, the judge wrote that “the Court finds that Shah’s Miranda waiver was decidedly voluntary” and that her “difficulty reading due to the claimed dryness of her contact lenses” did not affect her ability to understand her right.
“In addition to showing Shah the Miranda waiver form, [officers] read each question aloud,” added the judge.
On Monday, Daniel R. Alonso, one of Shah’s attorneys, said in a court filing obtained by PEOPLE that he and his colleagues Henry W. Asbill and Michael S. Chu were resigning from Shah’s counsel. The filing said that Shah “wishes to have ChaudhryLaw PLLC represent her for all purposes in this matter going forward, rather than Buckley LLP.” Her team will now be comprised of her recently retained attorney Priya Chaudhry and partners.
“Our team has been bringing Ms. Chaudhry and her team up to speed for more than a month,” said Alonso, explaining there would be a smooth transfer and that all parties in the case had consented to the change in counsel.
The court accepted the withdrawal. Shah has a pre-trial conference date on Oct. 8, and she is set for trial with co-defendants Chad Allen and Cameron Brewster on Oct. 18.
Chaudhry did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Both Shah and her assistant Stuart Smith, 43, have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Smith also pleaded not guilty in April.
In a previous press release announcing their arrest, prosecutors allege that Shah and Smith carried out a nationwide telemarketing scheme with the help of others between 2012 and March of this year. They have been accused of having “defrauded hundreds of victims” with purported business services.
Prosecutors claim Shah and Smith’s scheme was a “coordinated effort to traffic in lists of potential victims,” referred to as “leads.” From there, they allegedly sold those leads to telemarketing companies that would attempt to sell business services to the targeted individuals.
The pair “received as profit a share of the fraudulent revenue per the terms of their agreement with those participants,” according to the indictment.