RHOSLC's Jen Shah begs judge to throw out fraud charges because her 'dry contacts' caused her to waive Miranda rights
REAL Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah begged a judge to throw out her fraud charges because her "dry contacts" caused her to waive her Miranda rights.
Back in March, Jen was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a "telemarketing scheme" and is facing 30 YEARS in prison.
The 47-year-old star filed a motion on Monday, where she asked the court to dismiss the indictment against her on the basis of “legal and factual insufficiency” and suppression of evidence, according to Us Weekly.
Jen's attorneys claimed that federal prosecutors failed to establish that she willfully intended to defraud the telemarketing customers.
They also claimed that her post-arrest statements should not be included in the case against her because she made them involuntarily.
“She was in a very vulnerable emotional state due to the combination of strange phone calls she received the morning of her arrest and her history with a convicted felon who had victimized her in New York,” the motion read, according to the outlet.
“This caused her will to be overborne easily by [Detective Christopher] Bastos and several affirmative misrepresentations he made in order to secure a waiver of rights.”
According to court documents, the reality star received a call from a detective with the New York Police Department while filming an episode for the Bravo series.
“Her first thought and apprehension was that the matter was related to a different NYPD matter, in which Ms. Shah had been granted a permanent order of protection by a judge in Supreme Court, New York County, against a man who had victimized her,” Jen’s lawyers claimed.
While still on the phone with Jen, the detective asked her to pull over, and when she did, the detective arrived with other agents and placed her under arrest.
“Ms. Shah was at this point incredibly confused and emotionally off-balance from the strange series of events, and believed she might have been the victim of a false identification,” the document claimed.
Jen’s lawyers also alleged that while the detective read her Miranda rights aloud and gave her a printed copy to sign, she didn’t know what she was looking at when she signed it.
“Although she heard the words he read, Ms. Shah’s contact lenses, which were in her eyes, were dry, and she did not have her reading glasses, so her vision was blurry and she was unable to read the paper in front of her,” the motion read.
“Even while being read her rights, Ms. Shah did not know what was going on, and still thought it might be a potential misidentification.”
Additionally, according to Page Six, Jen had no idea her conversation with detectives was being recorded.
“I did not know the purpose of the conversation or what, if anything, I was being charged with until close to the end of the 1 hour, 20-minute interrogation, shortly after the detective said, ‘I want to conclude,'” Jen claimed in the document.
Jen's lawyers claimed that the officer’s statements implied he was “trying to clear up an issue, if not trying to help her,” when in fact, the statements, “were plainly untrue, as he well knew that he would be taking Ms. Shah to a magistrate judge that day based on her having been indicted in New York.
“To be sure, he desperately did want to talk with her — but he did not just want to do so.”
Back in March, Jen was arrested just as the Bravo cameras filmed the cast's trip to Colorado.
An insider close to the star claimed: “Cameras were rolling but it was so chaotic, I’m not sure exactly what was captured."
While the source said producer "definitely got some footage," it's unclear exactly what was captured.
“The cast was getting ready for a group trip to Colorado,” the insider spilled exclusively to The Sun.
The informant continued: “Jen was so excited, of course she wanted to go full glam so she went and got braids done specifically for the trip.
“Literally out of nowhere after getting a phone call, she seemed panicked and had to leave due to what she said was an urgent emergency with her husband Sharrieff.
“Maybe a few minutes later, cops came in looking for Jen but she was gone. They said they were federal law enforcement.”
The source claimed that when officials found Jen, she was “arrested on the spot” and appeared to be “devastated and mortified.”
Police also arrested her assistant, Stuart Smith, and they charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
When the arrest was made, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a press release obtained by The Sun: "Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful business person 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.
"Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes."
They could potentially face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.
Following her being released without bond, Jen has been banned from excessive drinking and using drugs, she can't use her credit cards, take out excessive amounts of money, and can't travel outside of Utah until her October hearing.
A month after her arrest, Bravo cameras resumed filming and it was said that Jen will continue to appear on the show as she deals with her legal issues in front of the cameras.
Since then, Jen has started a Cameo account where she is charging fans $100 per video and has been forced out of her magnificent – and rented – mansion as the owners are set to sell it.
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