In SDNY Jen Shah of RHOSLC Says Husband Makes $500,000 as Utah Coach, Money to Kosovo
Then the arguments went sealed, into the "robing room" - Inner City Press pursuing in docket
In SDNY Jen Shah of RHOSLC Says Husband Makes $500K as Utah Coach, Money to Kosovo
SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 25 – Five defendants in a telemarketing scheme were presented past 8 pm on November 20, 2019 in the Magistrates Court of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The government proposed that while they could be released on their own signatures that night, but asked that they get pre-approval from Pre-Trial Services for any expenditure above $10,000.
On April 2, 2021 Jen Shah of Real Housewifes Of Salt Lake City was arraigned in the same case - and a $1 million bond, with $250,000 of it secured by case or property, required. Inner City Press live tweeted that, below.
Shah in the run up to the then-scheduled March 22, 2022 trial subpoenaed counsel for co-defendants and possible trial witnesses against her, for all communication with law enforcement including proffer sessions. The co-defendants have joined in a motion to quash.
The trial has been pushed back: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Sidney H. Stein: Scheduling Conference as to Jennifer Shah held on 3/1/2022. Defendant Jennifer Shah's attorneys Priya Chaudhry and Seth Zuckerman present and waive their client's appearance; for the government Kiersten Fletcher and Robert Sobelman present; reporter Andrew Walker also present. Defendant shall file a response to the pending motions to quash a subpoena by March 4. The reply is due by March 11. The defendant shall respond to the ABC News motion to quash by March 11, any reply is due by March 18, 2022. The final pretrial conference is adjourned to June 27, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. The trial is adjourned to July 11, 2022."
Another week's delay: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Jennifer Shah on re:  LETTER by Jennifer Shah addressed to Judge Sidney H. Stein from Priya Chaudhry dated 5/17/2022 re: July Trial Date. ENDORSEMENT: The trial of this matter will commence on July 18, 2022, at 9:30 a.m., in Courtroom 23A, and will continue day-to-day until its completion. (Jury Trial set for 7/18/2022 at 09:30 AM in Courtroom 23A, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge Sidney H. Stein) (Signed by Judge Sidney H. Stein on 5/19/2022)."
On May 25 Judge Stein held an in-person oral argument - without Jen Shah present - and Inner City Press attended and live tweeted it here
Shah's 2 lawyers are here - but she is calling in. Judge Stein says he'll hear a "sealed motion in the robing room."
But first, Shah's bid to exclude that she withheld info from the IRS. Judge: She didn't report telemarketing income. Shah's lawyer: She called it marketing, $150,000.
Judge Stein: Jen Shah moved funds to #Kosovo AUSA: And she did not file or keep the required records.
h Still going. Jen Shah's lawyer says her husband Sharrieff Shah makes $500,000 a year as assistant football coach at University of Utah. Photo here.
Jen Shah's case is going sealed, into robing roo. Unclear the basis; Inner City Press will check docket. Watch this site.
On April 25 there was an in-person argument on Shah's subpoena for ABC's outtakes. Inner City Press was there, threadette:
Judge Stein tells Shah's lawyer he'll ask prospective jurors about the ABC program, which he says he doubts will have had impact (or been seen).
Shah's lawyer notes that ABC is not subject to 3500, says Shah is entitled to the outtakes.
Now Judge Stein is asking about the reporters' privilege
On May 5 Judge Stein quashed the subpoena: "The journalists' privilege protects this information. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recognizes a journalists' privilege in light of the need "to protect the public's interest in being informed by a vigorous, aggressive and independent press." Chevron Corp. v. Berlinger, 629 F.3d 297,306 (2d Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The journalists' privilege is a qualified privilege that protects both confidential and nonconfidential press materials from disclosure. Gonzales v . Nat'l Broad. Co., Inc., 194 F.3d 29, 32 (2d Cir. 1999). The standards for overcoming the privilege are more rigorous for confidential sources than for nonconfidential ones. In order to secure disclosure of confidential materials and sources, the party seeking it must make "a clear and specific showing that the information is: highly material and relevant, necessary or critical to the maintenance of the claim, and not obtainable from other available sources." In re Petroleum Prods. Antitrust Litig., 680 F.2d 5, 7 (2d Cir. 1982). The party seeking disclosure of nonconfidential materials, however "is entitled to the requested discovery notwithstanding a valid assertion of the journalists' privilege if he can show that the materials at issue are of likely relevance to a significant issue in the case, and are not reasonably obtainable from other available sources." Gonzales, 194 F.3d at 36. Furthermore, the privilege applies in both civil and criminal cases. See United States v. Treacy, 639 F.3d 32, 43 (2d Cir. 2011); United States v. Burke, 700 F.2d 70, 77 (2d Cir. 1983) ("We see no legally-principled reason for drawing a distinction between civil and criminal cases when considering whether the reporter's interest in confidentiality should yield to the moving party's need for probative evidence.") The subpoena here, far broader in scope than the discovery Shah unsuccessfully sought from the government in the days following the documentary's first airing (ECF No. 406,418), concerns both confidential and nonconfidential information. To the extent that it seeks "[a]ny and all documents and communications concerning the interviews taken," it sweeps confidential information within its copious ambit." Inner City Press will stay on the case
On February 14, 2022, Cameron Brewster came before Judge Sidney H. Stein to plead guilty. Inner City Press covered it. Brewster had a seven page plea deal dated February 7, waiving most rights to appeal any sentence at or below 97 months.
On December 1, 2021 Shah's lawyer filed a letter, which Inner City Press is publishing in full on Patreon here, demanding sanctions: "As the Court is aware, we represent Jennifer Shah in the above-referenced matter. We respectfully submit this letter concerning the Government’s flagrant violation of Local Criminal Rule 23.1 by members of the prosecutorial team. In a documentary which was released yesterday by ABC News and is available for streaming worldwide, two supervisory agents with Homeland Security Investigations gave interviews about Ms. Shah and opined on her involvement with the alleged scheme, her “lavish lifestyle,” and her alleged treatment of purported victims. These violations of Rule 23.1, as described herein, are reprehensible and severely jeopardize Ms. Shah’s right to a fair trial." Full letter on Patreon here.
On December 3 the US replied, claiming that when it handed out exhibits in US v. Owimrin, "in accord with the Office's standard practices in responding to such requests from the press or public, the Office provided those materials."
But that's not true. When Inner City Press asked for the exhibits in the UN corruption case of US v. Ng Lap Seng, it was denied and had to FOIA. So too on Patrick Ho. Watch this site.
Back on November 19, Shah's co-defendant Stuart Smith came to plead guilty. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:
now Jennifer Shah's co-defendant Stuart Smith is appearing at noon before SDNY Judge Sidney Stein - in order to plead guilty.
Stuart Smith: I am 43 and got a bachelors degree in Sociology. Judge Stein: Mental illness? Smith: No. Judge Stein: Any pills? Smith: Pills to sleep at night.
Judge Stein: You are charged in count 1 with wire fraud in tele-marketing. In count 2, money laundering. In count 3, obstructing an official proceeding.
Assistant UN Attorney Fletcher: 1 correction - in count one he is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud
AUSA Fletcher: Someone thinks I'm not a participant and keeps muting me. [Note: This change of plea is being done with a public call-in line, unlike the upcoming US v. #GhislaineMaxwell, for which Inner City Press has requested a line
Judge Stein: Tell me what you did. Defense lawyer: He'll read it, he wrote it yesterday. Judge Stein: Read slowly, though. Stuart Smith: I knowingly planned with others to obtain money by offering many elderly individuals to entities I was involved in.
Stuart Smith: I was involved in fulfillment companies in Utah. Also, Wyoming, which helps hide the ownership of corporations. I was aware it was misleading. We sold marketing that was of no value.
AUSA: Please confirm there were at least 10 victims over the age of 55.
Stuart Smith: Yes. AUSA: The interstate wires, we proffer that Mastery Pro Group has offices in the SDNY and contacted victims outside of the District.
AUSA: And the official proceeding he obstructed was an FTC investigation conducted in the SDNY. We would prove this with testimony of victims.
Back on August 5, Shah and a co-defendant had a slew of motions denied. Order.
SDNY Judge Sidney Stein tried to do the arraignment on March 31, but the technology broke down. Now there's an echo but it's going forward. Judge Stein: Ms. Shah, have you read the indictment? Shah: Yes, I have. And I waive the public reading.
Judge Stein: How do you plead to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering? Shah: Not guilty. Judge Stein: Let me turn to Mr. Smith.
Judge Stein: Mr. Smith, how do you plead? Smith: Not guilty. Judge Stein: Let's talk about bail conditions. Ms. Shah you were released by a Magistrate in Utah.
Assistant US Attorney: We have a proposal on conditions. There are some on which there is a dispute.
AUSA: In Utah, Ms. Shah posted no cash. We propose a $1 million bond, secured by $250,000 in cash or property. On no contact with witnesses and victims, we want to specify that means those who purchased services, or sold them on sales floors. She can travel to DC
Judge Stein: You proposed no disbursements over $10,000 without permission. I'm going to lower it to $5000. Defense: She is on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City but she doesn't take any credit cards for that.
Judge: Does the government have possession of Ms. Shah's passport? AUSA: It was expired, and we took it. If she has another, she should surrender it. Judge: What is the risk of flight? Ms. Shah, I've come to learn, is a participant in a popular television show.
Judge: She is active on social media. It is unlikely she could disappear.
AUSA: We will make a proffer. [Meanwhile, it dawns on Inner City Press these two are part of the largest US v. Cheedie case Inner City Press has covered, here
AUSA: The penalties for $5 million money laundering, it is not clear she would remain a public persona. In any event the persona is insufficient to ensure her return to court. So, a modest security. Judge: Is $250,000 modest? AUSA: She has access to it.
Judge Stein: Let me here from the defense. Defense: We do not believe she has any active passport. She had hired us to defend her - she wants to fight this. Cash bond in not favored anyway around the country.
Judge Stein: Does she receive a salary from any of her businesses, including the Real Housewives franchise? Defense: I don't know, I haven't spoken with my client about that.
2d Defense lawyer: She is an entrepreneur. She makes some money from the show, yes.
Judge Stein: There is a risk of flight. It's not insubstantial. I'm to have her continued released, on condition of a bond of $1 million, with $250,000 secured by cash or property and 2 co-signers.
Judge Stein: She is to continue with her treatment. She can accept credit card charges for other businesses. No telemarketing.
Defense: Could we have 2 weeks for $250,000, since we're in Utah?
AUSA: Bonds can be handled remotely. 1 week.
Judge Stein: I'll do 2 weeks.
The case is US v. Cheedie, et al, 19-cr-833 (Stein) - Dkt 409.
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