NEW YORK CITY (ABC4) – A ‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ reality star and her assistant have pleaded not guilty to federal charges after being accused of committing telemarketing fraud.
Jen Shah and Stuart Smith appeared virtually in New York federal court Friday morning.
Both have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
During the virtual arraignment, Shah and Smith entered not guilty pleas in response to both charges.
Prosecutors also asked for changes to the bail for Shah. The District of Utah federal court had previously not required Shah to sign or post bond.
In regards to Shah, prosecutors asked for a $1 million personal recognizance bond secured by $250,000 in cash or property, as well as the signatures of two “financially responsible person.” On Friday, Manhattan Judge Sidney Stein agreed to release Shah on these terms.
While Judge Stein wants Shah to sign the $1 million bond on Friday, Shah has two weeks to meet the requirements for the $250,000 security, and is to have no contact with other suspects in the indictment, victims of the scheme, or witnesses.
While Shah had been previously restricted from traveling, the judge agreed to allow her to travel to Washington D.C., where one of her lawyers is located, as well as Utah and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Shah was also formerly restricted from withdrawing cash from her personal or business accounts from $10,000 max. Judge Stein reduced that max withdrawal limit to $5,000. Despite this, prosecutors say both Shah and Smith have access to an undetermined amount of cash, which is a contributing factor to their request for bond changes.
The judge has agreed that Shah can continue working on her beauty and fashion businesses.
Smith’s defense, on the other hand, asked that he not face bond because he “is not likely to flee,” citing that he is “a family man.” While Smith reportedly surrendered his passport and firearms, prosecutors say the FBI found about $15,000 in cash within his home.
Judge Stein ruled Smith is to be released on a $1 million personal recognizance bond, which is expected on Friday and secured with his home. Smith’s wife is to serve as the “financially responsible person” within his bond.
Like Shah, Smith is not to travel, with the exception of Utah and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He is also to avoid contact with victims, witnesses, and other defendants.
Judge Stein says the trial date has been scheduled for October 18, but notes that it could be rescheduled or impacted by COVID-19.
This is a developing story. Stick with ABC4 on-air and online for continuing coverage.