Turns out Jen Shah isn’t the only one on the hook to pay the $9 million restitution she agreed to pay as part of her plea deal.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star also agreed to forfeit $6 million. She faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges as part of a national telemarketing scheme that defrauded older Americans.
Now it comes to light that Jen’s husband Sharrieff Shah may also be liable for the repayment, according to former L.A. Deputy District Attorney Emily D. Baker.
Baker recently chatted with PEOPLE and explained why Coach Shah may also be on the hook to pay Jen’s $9 million restitution bill if she’s unable to do so.
“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,” explains Baker. “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.”
She adds, “So, the government might already have some money or property of hers.”
Baker notes that the government already “had some money” from Jen’s assistant Stuart ‘Stu Chains’ Smith, who plead guilty in November 2021 for their crimes.
“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,” she explains.
“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,” Baker continues. “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.”
According to Baker that “includes marital property,” adding that Coach Shah’s income could be garnished to pay Jen’s debt
“Things that are separate to him, no, but anything [they share as a married couple, yes] — and that can be his income and stuff like that,” she explains. “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.”
Baker notes that it “wouldn’t matter” if the Shahs were to divorce, explaining that the University of Utah football coach would still be liable “because this is now accumulated during the marriage.”
Jen and Coach Shah have been married since 1994. They share two sons, Sharrieff Shah Jr. and Omar.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is currently filming season 3.