Shah was filming the Bravo show on a bus with the other wives when she received a phone call, appeared distressed, told the other women Sharrieff Shah Sr. was in the hospital, and then left abruptly. Moments later the NYPD and Homeland Security showed up looking for Shah. She was later arrested on the side of the road for alleged wire fraud and money laundering.
“When I was sitting on the bus, I got a phone call that showed my husband’s phone number on my phone,” the reality TV star said during her confessional. “And then I was like, ‘Wait, this is not my husband’s voice.’”
“They told me, ‘You need to go home, get [my son] Omar and then come meet Sharrieff, he’s at the University of Utah Hospital.’ I immediately went, ‘Oh my God, is Sharrieff OK? This is an emergency,’” the Bravolebrity described.
The cameras then captured Shah in a meeting with her attorney Clayton Simm, where she claimed she had no idea what was happening when the authorities pulled her over.
“I get asked to pull over so they can come talk to me and I’m thinking, ‘Is my husband OK? Are my kids OK? I literally didn’t know what was going on,’” she remembered.
Shah said of being arrested, “I feel like I’m still in shock, kind of in a fog.” And told the cameras she’s in total shock over the alleged crimes.
“What I have been accused of is absolutely the complete opposite of anything I would ever do in my life,” she said. “If I have any fault, it is because I am too giving and I help too many people.”
In March 2021, Shah and her “first assistant” Stuart Smith were arrested for allegedly conspiring to commit wire fraud and laundering money in connection to a purported telemarketing scam. They were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They allegedly victimized 10 or more people over the age of 55.
Fox News confirmed on Friday that Smith, 43, has changed his plea to guilty after appearing before Southern District of New York Judge Sidney H. Stein. Smith’s sentencing is now set for March 3 and he was released on bail.
“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 alleged in a statement last spring.
Prosecutors say Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their “success,” which they claim is all a fraud. “In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people,” added New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh.
The New York Police Department said the number of victims Shah and Smith have duped stand in the “hundreds,” adding that the alleged fraud had been perpetuated for nearly a decade, starting in 2012.
Shah is maintaining her plea of not guilty and her trial is scheduled to begin in March 2022.
On Instagram, Shah thanked her followers for their support. “Y’all see who these ladies really are,” she wrote. “They have zero compassion for me and my family. It takes an evil person to take delight in what we’re going through. I’m [100%] innocent and I hope the ladies each learn a valuable lesson from this & stop judging others.”