Jen Shah is facing some serious legal consequences after pleading guilty to fraud charges — but she isn’t the only one!
The reality TV star faces up to 30 years in prison following her unexpected confession earlier this week that she was behind a telemarketing scheme aimed at senior citizens. And now, we are learning more about how the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star’s husband, Sharrieff Shah, could wind up on the hook to pay off up to $9 million in restitution payments from Jen’s case. OUCH!!!
People spoke to former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Emily D. Baker about the case, and the legal expert had some interesting things to say. Sharing her general expertise with prosecutions like this, Baker explained that a lot is at stake after the RHOSLC star agreed to forfeit more than $6 million and pay $9 million more in restitution.
The legal commentator revealed that the forfeiture itself could be an intense process:
“First, the forfeiture. The forfeiture allows for substituting of assets. So, any assets that she owns can be forfeited to the government to cover that $6.5 million in forfeiture. That also depends on how much they took when they did the search warrant, because they had the right to grab money, property, things like that.”
Baker also pondered the possibility that the government’s take-back process may have already started:
“So, the government might already have some money or property of hers.”
It’s important to remember there is another party here. Jen’s assistant Stuart Smith has also pleaded guilty for his role in the telemarketing scheme. As Baker hypothesizes, the government may already have taken back some assets from him to account for some of the total:
“They also said that for some of it, she could be jointly and separately liable with Stuart depending on if there’s restitution. So, it might be a split.”
Baker further warned that the government is NOT going to back off until they get the forfeiture back:
“There’s a funny sentence in the plea deal that they could be jointly and separately liable together, and that would be very interesting, because that would reduce it. But if she can’t pay, there’s not much she can do. It will always be there, and they can garnish any income. If she writes a book, they can garnish that. So, after the forfeiture is done, they can go after any income.”
Now, about that restitution…
Baker explained to the mag that the government’s tactics for obtaining payment include going after “marital property.” Sharrieff, who is a football coach at the University of Utah, is thus part of it — at least when it comes to paying the restitution:
“Anything [that they share as a couple, yes] … that can be his income and stuff like that. Most things are going to be considered marital property, so yes. This is their debt. It’s in her name, but he’s not going to be able to have marital property that’s not a potential to be attached for this restitution.”
Wow! And even if the duo decided to divorce in light of this, Baker surmises it “wouldn’t matter,” and Sharrieff could still end up being liable because “this [property] is now accumulated during the marriage.”
So it sounds like the government is keen on getting justice one way or another — at least, according to this legal expert. And for the couple, who has been married since 1994 and shares two sons tougher, it appears as though things might just get even trickier for a while.
Well, at least one thing is clear here: don’t f**k with the feds…
Reactions, Perezcious readers?? Do y’all think that’s fair? Should we be responsible for who we marry and what crimes they commit?? Let us know your thoughts in the comments (below)!