The victims of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah’s nationwide telemarketing scheme are still reeling from the impacts after the reality star swindled them out of their money.
Just weeks after Jen was sentenced to 6.5 years in federal prison for her role in the scheme, Trisha, a 75-year-old victim from North Carolina, sat down for an interview and detailed just how she was manipulated and taken advantage of.
Speaking with ABC News Studios’ IMPACT x Nightline, Trisha explained that her daughter had recently purchased a large property and “didn’t realize how much cash flow” it took to maintain and run the sizeable piece of land. Trisha says that she is “pretty decent” with computers and set up a standard, simple webpage for her daughter to promote the business.
That’s when Jen’s “marketing” company actively sought her out.
“About three weeks later, I got a phone call saying, ‘We noticed that you have a new website.’ [They] did a sales speech about all of the perks if I went with them that they could teach me,” Trisha recounted to the outlet.
The sales pitch was so well-done that Trisha said she paid $12,000 for the initial program, but the costs and programs kept accumulating with no results. She ended up spending about $47,000 in total — almost half of her retirement savings.
Trisha said she once she realized that she had been taken advantage of, she was unsure of how to go about reporting the crime. Luckily for her, the federal government came knocking and explained the far-reaching repercussions and the severity of Jen and her associates’ crimes.
“I mean, I was shell-shocked,” Trisha said. “But it turned out to be true.”
Further into the special, the outlet interviewed Jen’s former stylist and designer, Koa Johnson, who ultimately turned on the RHOSLC star and gave evidence to the Feds.
Recounting his experience working with Jen, Koa explained that it was “difficult” and the “glamorous, strong Polynesian woman, fierce, inviting, pretty much a badass persona” Jen portrays to the camera is in stark contrast to who she is in real life.
“Jennifer Shah is a very difficult person to get to do anything. She’s self-sabotaging. She will stay at home all day in bed, in her pajamas or in the clothes she’s been wearing for the last three days,” Koa claimed.
Koa then explained that he did “submit some information that may have helped lead [the government] in a direction to convict her in her federal trial” after being verbally abused and mistreated by Jen in leaked audio recordings and video footage.
Jen plead guilty to her crimes in open court last year and has “vowed” to pay her debt to society, but it seems like the RHOSLC star turned felon still has some “truth” up her sleeve.
In a since-deleted Instagram post, Jen insinuated that there are more details surrounding her crime that she has yet to share. She shared a quote that read, “There’s something about a woman with a loud mind that sits in silence, smiling, knowing she can crush you with the truth.”
The courts, however, don’t buy any of Jen’s apologetic sentiments.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Sobelman said, “There is not one message from her that expresses any type of remorse, not one. The defense hasn’t submitted any. That’s not how she felt even when she pled guilty.”
He also pointed to text messages that showed Jen allegedly “laughing” with her co-conspirators at one of their victims, an 80-year-old woman who “wouldn’t stop crying.”
Jen is set to report to prison on February 17 to begin serving her 6.5-year sentence.
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