The arraignment, which had been rescheduled from Wednesday (March 31, 2021) after massive technical difficulties thwarted the hearing, took place before United States District Judge Sidney H. Stein.
“Not guilty,” Shah said to each of the offenses.
Lawyers went back-and-forth over the terms of her remaining out of jail pending trial. Federal prosecutors asked for $1 million, plus $250,000 in either cash or property security. Shah’s defense lawyers acknowledged she doesn’t own her own home, but does have other business interests including fashion and beauty companies
On Tuesday (March 30, 2021), Shah was indicted and arrested for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charges were brought about from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. She was arrested along with her assistant, Stuart Smith, who has also been featured on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, as one of her many assistants.
The judge ruled that Shah must sign a $1 million personal recognizance bond secured by $250,000 in cash or property and have the signatures of two “financially responsible persons” for her continued release. She is to have no contact with any co-defended, victims, or witnesses except in the presence of council.
The judge also limited her travel to Utah, New York and Washington, D.C. (where one of her attorneys is based).
Shah and Smith are accused in a larger telemarketing fraud case dating back to 2019 that has been prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Prosecutors have alleged that Shah and Smith were involved in generating “lead lists” of potential clients for business opportunities that were ultimately scammed.
Utah’s Department of Commerce has declined to comment on whether it has any investigations under way into Shah and her companies. The Utah Attorney General’s Office said it was not involved in any cases.