'RHOSLC' 's Jen Shah'' Asks Judge For Reduced Sentence Following Guilty Plea in Telemarketing Scheme

"The terrible business decisions I made and professional relationships I developed stemmed from some personal painful experiences that I was going through in my life," Shah wrote to the judge, according to CNN

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Jen Shah -- (Photo by: Chad Kirkland/Bravo)
Photo: Chad Kirkland/Bravo

Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jennifer Shah is requesting a reduced prison sentence after pleading guilty for her role in an alleged telemarketing scheme.

In Shah's sentencing submission, obtained by PEOPLE, the reality star is asking a judge for a sentence of three years in prison — which is less than her plea deal sentencing range of between 11 and 14 years in prison under advisory guidelines.

"The terrible business decisions I made and professional relationships I developed stemmed from some personal painful experiences that I was going through in my life," Shah wrote to the judge, according to CNN.

Shah was initially arrested in March 2021 alongside her assistant, Stuart Smith, for allegedly targeting people in a nationwide phone scam to defraud those over the age of 55. She was then charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering, before pleading not guilty in April 2021 and eventually switching her original plea of not guilty to guilty in July 2022.

The requested sentence of 36 months comes as her legal team argues Shah (who also requested to serve her time at the federal prison in Bryan, Texas) wasn't the "kingpin" or "Godfather" of the scheme, and that she did not have direct contact with the fraud victims — despite prosecutors arguing she came up with leads to target.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Season:3 -- Pictured: Jen Shah -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/Bravo via Getty Images)
Chris Haston/Bravo via Getty

In the document obtained by PEOPLE, her attorneys write that "many of these co-defendants neither received their leads from Ms. Shah, had any contact with her, nor even knew her," and that those who did know her "were still able to carry out their crimes" when she didn't share leads.

"While it is true that Ms. Shah provided the 'leads' to many of the people involved in this crime, she certainly did not create, organize, control, or run this multipronged/multi-state conspiracy," the document reads.

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Elsewhere in the sentencing submission, Shah's attorneys ask the judge to ignore how she's portrayed on television, adding that the program "misleadingly suggest[s] that Ms. Shah's statements and actions in these episodes match the posture of Ms. Shah's case or reflect her accurate sentiments about this matter." As they explained, the show (which they allege is "semi-scripted" and "heavily edited") makes her seem "intransigent, defiant, and often even unrepentant, about her actions here."

"Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as Jen Shah has never been a "housewife," little else is real about her persona and caricature as portrayed by the editors of RHOSLC," the document reads. "The effigy of Jen Shah portrayed in the RHOSLC has no bearing on who she is, whatsoever, and should not enter this Court's calculus in fashioning an appropriate sentence for the real Jen Shah."

The document also features letters that Shah submitted — 30 in total — from family and friends supporting her amid the legal troubles, including her husband Sharrieff, who wrote about his wife's "sincere desire to correct her past wrongs."

Her legal team also alleges in the document that one of her son is "having nightmares" after police "pointed an assault rifle at his head and heart" and forced him "out of bed at gunpoint" when he was 15, as his mother was escorted away in handcuffs during her arrest. "This is part of the tremendous guilt and shame Jen feels, as her actions have harmed her family in many ways."

Shah previously revealed this week on Instagram why she wasn't present at the recent reunion taping for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. She alleged in the post that Bravo found it "unsatisfactory" that she was not willing to discuss the ongoing legal troubles.

"That expectation has no regard for me or my family's well-being; so under legal advice, I will not be attending the reunion," she wrote. "I need to focus on the important thing in my life — my family."

Shah is expected to be sentenced in January. She faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

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