• Jen Shah was arrested with her assistant Stuart Smith Tuesday
  • They were allegedly involved in a telemarketing fraud scheme
  • Shah was filming the series on the day of the arrest, a source said

"The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" star Jen Shah was arrested alongside her assistant Stuart Smith Tuesday for her involvement in a telemarketing fraud scheme that had allegedly targeted "vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people." She was filming the Bravo series when the arrest took place.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss issued a press release on the same day. "Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a wealthy and successful businessperson on 'reality television', and Stuart Smith, who is portrayed as Shah's 'first assistant,' allegedly generated and sold 'lead lists' of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam," Strauss said in the release.

"In actual reality and as alleged, the so-called business opportunities pushed on the victims by Shah, Smith, and their co-conspirators were just fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims' money. Now, these defendants face time in prison for their alleged crimes," Strauss explained.

Peter C. Fitzhugh, Homeland Security Investigations special agent-in-charge, also explained in the statement how Shah and Smith used to flaunt their "lavish lifestyle" to target people.

"Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their 'success.' In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people," Fitzhugh said. "As alleged, disturbingly, Shah and Smith objectified their very real human victims as 'leads' to be bought and sold, offering their personal information for sale to other members of their fraud ring."

"Working with our partners at the NYPD and the United States Attorney's Office, SDNY, and with the assistance of HSI Salt Lake City, HSI New York worked to ensure that Shah and Smith will answer for their alleged crimes," he said further. "As a result, their new reality may very well turn out differently than they expected."

A source told People that the cast, including Jen, had left for a trip to Vail on Tuesday. "She [Shah] was filming," the source said.

Shah and Smith have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and they have allegedly victimized more than 10 people over the age of 55. Such a charge carries a sentence of a maximum of 30 years while money laundering has a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Real Housewives Of Potomac
Pictured [L-R]: Wendy Osefo, Robyn Dixon, Candiace Dillard, Karen Huger, Gizelle Bryant, Ashley Darby, and Monique Samuels star on “The Real Housewives Of Potomac.” Sophy Holland/Bravo