The Real Housewives of Salt Lake CityJen Shah’s sentencing in her federal fraud case has been postponed.
According to court documents obtained by Page Six, United States attorney Damian Williams filed a letter on Thursday, October 6, requesting that Shah’s sentencing be moved from November 18, 2022, to December 15, 2022.
This was reportedly requested due to a “scheduling conflict on the part of several members of the Government team.”
Judge Sidney H. Stein approved the request shortly after, per Page Six.
Newsweek has contacted representatives for Shah for comment.
Neama Rahmani, former federal prosecutor and current president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told Newsweek that the delay in Shah’s trial was “not common.”
He said that the postponement was unusual as, generally, when the court sets a sentencing hearing, people plan their schedules “months in advance.”
“Obviously there is some scheduling issue—I don’t know what that issue was but the court did push back [Shah’s sentencing] a month,” Rahmani said.
He further explained what will be happening behind the scenes as Shah awaits her sentencing, saying: “It takes a while for US probation [U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System] to prepare their reports. At a sentencing hearing in federal court in the United States, there are really three parties making recommendations; the first is the government, they’re going to make their recommendations, the defense (Shah’s attorneys) are going to make their recommendation, but US probation also make a recommendation.”
Rahmani went on to illustrate why there has been a long stretch of time between Shah’s guilty plea (which happened in July) and her sentencing—even before its most recent delay from November to December.
He said of the US Probation Office: “They’ll calculate the sentencing guidelines. They’ll interview with the defendant and anyone else that’s appropriate…They usually need a few months to do so, even though Shah pled guilty a while ago , sentencing is going to usually take place months later, which is what is happening here.”
Bravo star Shah was arrested in Utah while filming Season 2 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City in March 2021, along with her then assistant Stuart Smith.
The pair were accused of involvement in a telemarketing scheme that defrauded “hundreds” of people, many over the age of 55, by selling “lead lists” for fictitious business opportunities.
Shah pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a New York court on July 11. She could face up to 30 years in prison.
In a statement from July 11, Shah’s lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, told Newsweek: “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 pleaded guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.”
Smith also pleaded guilty to the charges filed against him.
Shah has starred on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City since it began in 2020 and in the Season 3 episodes that have already aired, Shah has said she is innocent in the fraud case.
The 49-year-old, who has two sons, said in a confessional interview on the season premiere on September 28: “I’m not going to take a plea deal when I’m not guilty. I’m innocent.”
The episodes have caused some confusion among fans who have been left puzzled by the timelines of events due to Shah’s protests of her innocence despite her guilty plea.
As previously reported, Season 3 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake Citywhich is currently airing, had finished filming before Shah pleaded guilty in July.
After the plea was entered, producers are said to have captured new footage, including reactions from Shah’s co-stars Lisa Barlow, Meredith Marks, Heather Gay and Whitney Rose. These reactions will be shown later in the season.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 3 airs on Bravo on Wednesdays at 9 pm ET. The previous two seasons are available to stream on Peacock.
Update 10/12/22, 12:17 pm ET: This article was updated to include comments from former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani.