Follow Us On Twitter!

Header Ads

Andy Cohen Says He’s ‘Especially Upset’ For Fraud ‘Victims’ Following Jen Shah’s Guilty Plea!

Andy Cohen admits he is “extremely upset” after learning that Jen Shah entered a guilty plea in her ongoing fraud case.

“I’m upset, and I’m especially upset for her victims,” Cohen said Wednesday on his SiriusXM show “Andy Cohen Live,” according to Page Six.

“I’m upset that she lied for so long and claimed to me that she was an example of someone being wrongly accused.”

Andy revealed that watching Shah’s “dogmatic” proclamation of innocence on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City reunion led him to believe that “this woman [should] have her day” in court.

“I’m extremely upset what she did, I’m also upset because, frankly, you get to know someone and you get to like them,” Cohen explained, noting that he wanted to “cheer” her on.

Cohen previously said that he didn’t “know how to feel“ about Shah’s guilty plea.

“When we were on the air on Monday, the news about Jen Shah pleading guilty broke,” Cohen clarified. “I did not have time to read anything about it, process it, we were on the air. I really didn’t have time to react, process it.”

Cohen added that he hopes he can ask Shah some questions before her sentencing in November.

“I have a lot of questions for her, and I’m sure the audience, especially those who supported her and stood by her, does too,” he said. “I really hope to get the opportunity to speak with her and to ask those questions.”

As previously reported, Shah pleaded guilty in her controversial telemarketing scheme scandal, according to court documents obtained by Page Six. The Bravo reality star appeared in front of U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein at 10:30 a.m. ET in Manhattan federal court for a surprise hearing, during which she changed her previous not guilty plea to guilty.

According to documents obtained by E! News, Shah plead guilty in federal court on July 11, just a week before she was set to go on trial for her ties to an alleged telemarketing scheme targeting the elderly. Prior to the last-minute hearing, Shah had maintained her innocence after being arrested in March 2021, initially pleading not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

Shah has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing. She faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and up to $9.5 million in fines and restitution, in addition to a $6 million forfeiture, but Page Six reported that her plea agreement called for only 11 to 14 years behind bars.

NBC News reported that during the July 11 proceedings, Shah stated that she had “agreed with others to commit with wire fraud” and “knew it misled” many victims, some of whom she said were over the age of 55. “[I] knew it was wrong,” Shah told the court. “Many people were harmed and I'm so sorry.” 

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York—where Shah was charged—issued a statement shortly after her plea change. “Jennifer Shah was a key participant in a nationwide scheme that targeted elderly, vulnerable victims," he said, per a press release. “These victims were sold false promises of financial security but instead Shah and her co-conspirators defrauded them out of their savings and left them with nothing to show for it. This Office is committed to rooting out these schemes whatever form they take."

An attorney for Shah told E! News in a statement following the plea change, “Ms. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line. She accepts full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed. Ms. Shah is also sorry for disappointing her husband, children, family, friends, and supporters. Jen pled guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.”

Shah is set to be sentenced on November 28.

The news comes after Jen Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were arrested for their alleged roles in a telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of victims throughout the United States on Tuesday, March 30. 

Shah and Smith were booked in Salt Lake City on conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering charges. They each face a maximum sentence of 30 years for the wire fraud charges and an additional 20 years for the money laundering charges.

“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,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a press release on Tuesday, reports the outlet. “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. Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes.”

“Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success,’” HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh added. “In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people. As alleged, disturbingly, Shah and Smith objectified their very real human victims as ‘leads’ to be bought and sold, offering their personal information for sale to other members of their fraud ring. Working with our partners at the NYPD and the United States Attorney’s Office, SDNY, and with the assistance of HSI Salt Lake City, HSI New York worked to ensure that Shah and Smith will answer for their alleged crimes. As a result, their new reality may very well turn out differently than they expected.”

According to Us Weekly, New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea went on to thank the “hard work” of the NYPD for the case.

“These individuals allegedly targeted and defrauded hundreds of victims but thanks to the hard work of the NYPD and our law enforcement partners, this illegal scheme was brought to an end,” Shea said on Tuesday. “I congratulate the NYPD detectives, Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for their hard work in bringing these persons to justice.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy via Andy Cohen/Instagram; Bravo Media/NBCUniversal