A judge sentenced a member of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” to 6 1/2 years in prison on Friday for defrauding thousands of people nationwide in a telemarketing scam, many of them vulnerable or older.
U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein announced the sentence for Jennifer Shah after she sobbed while apologizing for the fraud. Stein presided over her guilty plea in July to a conspiracy charge for participating in a massive fraud for nearly a decade.
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At the start of Shah’s sentencing hearing, Stein cautioned a packed Manhattan courtroom that he was not sentencing the person people see on television. Stein said that person is “simply a character. It’s acting.”
He said the housewives program “involves role playing. … It’s a heavily scripted operation.”
When Shah, 49, had a chance to speak, she too said she is not the person she is on the show.
“Reality TV has nothing to do with reality,” she said. I am deeply sorry for what I’ve done. My actions have hurt innocent people.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.