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‘Real Housewives’ star Jen Shah and assistant plead not guilty to wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy

They were charged Tuesday in a telemarketing scheme that allegedly defrauded hundreds of people. Over the course of nine years, the duo allegedly sold services “purporting to make the management of victims’ businesses more efficient or profitable,” prosecutors said.
These services included tax preparation and website design services, though many of their elderly victims did not own a computer, according to a release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Shah and Smith allegedly incorporated their business using third-party names and directed others to send portions of fraudulent proceeds to offshore bank accounts.

Shah’s lawyer, Daniel Alonso, declined to comment Friday when contacted by CNN. CNN has not been able to contact Smith’s lawyer for the Friday hearing.

Friday’s arraignment had been scheduled for Wednesday, but persistent technical difficulties forced Sidney Stein, district judge for the Southern District of New York, to reschedule.

Judge Stein permitted the continued release of Shah and Smith until the trial, slated to get underway on October 18, provided certain conditions are met.

Shah may be released on a $1 million personal recognizance bond, secured by $250,000 in cash or property and co-signed by two “financially responsible” parties, Stein said.

Shah is barred from engaging or directing others to engage in telemarketing activities and must stay within Utah, though she may travel to the southern and eastern districts of New York and to Washington, DC, for court appearances or meetings with her attorneys, among other conditions.

Smith, meanwhile, is also set to be released on a $1 million personal recognizance bond, secured by his residence in Utah and co-signed by his wife.

He also is barred from engaging or directing others to engage in any telemarketing activities and must remain in Utah, though he may travel to the southern and eastern districts of New York for court appearances and meetings with his lawyers.

Smith must also surrender any firearms.

Both are prohibited from meeting with any alleged victims or potential witnesses known to them in the alleged scheme, and they are not allowed to move more than $5,000 out of their personal or corporate accounts, except for legal costs, without the permission of pre-trial services.

CNN’s Anna Sturla, Amanda Jackson, Evan Simko-Bednarski and Amir Vera contributed to this report.

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