A co-defendant of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah has been sentenced to four years in federal prison. Chad Allen, like Shah, pleaded guilty in a telemarketing fraud scheme earlier this year. He was sentenced on September 15, 2022, in a preview of Shah’s own sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for November 28.
Allen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors had asked for five years in prison, while Allen’s attorneys requested a sentence of a year and a day, court documents obtained by Heavy show. Allen will also have to pay just under $2 million in restitution to the victims, court records show.
“The defendant was a key participant in a widespread and sophisticated scheme in which victims all over the country were convinced to invest their entire life savings, drain their retirement funds, and incur tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt based on the defendants’ false promises that the victims would earn money through an ‘online business’ created and managed by the defendant’s co-conspirators,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing. “In fact, there were no such businesses and the victims never
earned the money they were promised.”
Allen, a 44-year-old Arizona resident, has been free on bail and will report to prison in November, according to court records. His attorneys wrote in a sentencing statement, “Mr. Allen has a great opportunity to redeem himself in the eyes of the law and his family. This experience of being arrested and being prosecuted federally has been a traumatic experience for him and his family.”
They added, “Based on his post arrest conduct and dedication to live as a law-abiding citizen and productive member of his community, a sentence that does not exceed a year and a day of imprisonment would adequately deter him from further criminal conduct.”
Allen is the latest of Shah’s co-defendants to be sentenced to federal prison. Arash Ketabchi received seven years, Christopher Wilson and Carl Morris were both sentenced to six and a half years and Ryan Hult received five years. Others await sentencing, including Shah’s former assistant, Stuart Smith. His sentencing was delayed because he was set to testify in her trial and no date has been set.
The podcast The Bravo Docket, which explores legal drama surrounding Bravo reality stars, pointed out in August that Allen is classified by prosecutors as a “Tier 1” defendant, a group that has lesser culpability than those in “Tier A,” a group that includes Shah. There are other tiers of defendants charged in the fraud scheme below Allen.
Prosecutors wrote in a court filing, “Tier A includes those defendants responsible for orchestrating the broader scheme in the Western United States and supplying the leads that sustained the sales floors in the New York and New Jersey area. In particular, Jennifer Shah and Stuart Smith obtained leads directly from lead sources and provided them to, among others, coaching sales floors operated in Utah and Nevada.”
In the prosecutor’s sentencing statement for Allen, they noted something that could catch the eye of Shah’s attorneys. They said the probation department recommended a prison term of 36 months because all of his co-defendants sentenced so far have received a sentence below the guidelines.
Shah Has Agreed to Not Appeal Any Sentence of 14 Years in Prison or Less, According to Her Plea Agreement
After initially saying she was innocent and would fight the charges in court, Jen Shah pleaded guilty just before her federal trial was set to begin. Her plea agreement indicates she is likely to spend a significant time behind bars. She agreed not to appeal any sentence of less than 14 years in prison, while prosecutors said they will not contest a sentence of less than 11 years.
The federal sentencing guidelines for Shah fall into that 11 to 14 year range, court documents show. But a judge will be the one to ultimately decide her sentence, based on the guidelines, a recommendation from the federal probation office and recommendations from both Shah’s lawyers and prosecutors. Those recommendations have not yet been filed. The maximum sentence on the charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection to telemarketing is 30 years.
“Jen pled guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family. Ms. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line,” her attorney, Priya Chaudhry said in a statement. “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.”
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement after Shah’s guilty plea, “Jennifer Shah was a key participant in a nationwide scheme that targeted elderly, vulnerable victims. 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.”
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