“The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah and shamed former tech giant Elizabeth Holmes have “bonded” as friends during their time in the slammer.
The famous women were both sentenced to serve their time in a federal prison in Bryan, Texas, a facility 100 miles northwest of Houston that holds more than 600 female inmates. Shah and Holmes have since developed a camaraderie.
“They’re friends. They’re both rehabilitating and have bonded over being on this journey of positive change,” Shah’s representative, Chris Giovanni, told told People. “Their situations brought them together, and they have a good understanding of one another. They’re getting through it together.”
TheWrap has reached out to Shah’s representation for request for comment.
Shah was sentenced to 6½ years in prison in her wire fraud case after she pleaded guilty to defrauding hundreds of people in a telemarketing scheme, with many of her victims being members of the elderly community.
As for Holmes, she’s serving out a sentence of 11 years after she was convicted on four counts of fraud charges in January 2022 for false statements she made to Theranos investors about medical devices that claimed could spot hundreds of diseases with a few drops of blood from a person.
Shah’s 78-month sentence came as part of a plea deal after a two-year investigation, prosecution and sentencing. Shah was an original “RHOSLC” cast member; the show’s Season 4 is currently airing. Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were accused of committing wire fraud and money laundering, but Shah initially entered a not guilty plea in April 2021 before taking a plea agreement in July 2022.
The reality star pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and the money laundering charge was dropped. She also agreed to to forfeit $6.5 million and pay restitution up to $9.5 million. In addition, she will be under supervision for five years after her release.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the scheme — which the two operated over the course of nine years — “generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.”
Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 when she was only 19. She falsely claimed that a Theranos blood test could detect a variety of health conditions using only a few drops of blood, a claim that helped raise more than $700 million from venture capitalists and private investors. The company was valued at $10 billion in 2013 and 2014.
In addition to serving time, Holmes was also ordered to pay $452 million in restitution.
Sharon Knolle contributed to this report.
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