Jen Shah Trial Update: Feds Fight to Stop Witness’s Testimony

Federal prosecutors are asking a choose to restrict what certainly one of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah’s professional witnesses can testify about throughout her upcoming fraud trial. The newest submitting by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office comes as Shah’s trial nears. It is slated to start on July 18, barring any further delays.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kirsten Fletcher, Robert Sobelman and Sheb Swett despatched a letter to U.S. Judge Sidney Stein on June 21, 2022, to hunt an order to restrict the testimony by Przemyslaw Jeziorski, a UC Berkeley advertising professor, in line with court docket paperwork obtained by Heavy. A last listening to on motions in Shah’s case is about for July 5, 2022, court docket information show. Last month, Shah’s attorneys requested that Stein step apart if any conflicts in his schedule would trigger a 3rd delay.

Shah was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in reference to telemarketing and conspiracy to commit cash laundering in March 2021 and has been free on bond pending the beginning of her trial, which has been delayed two instances. It was first set to start in October 2021 after which in March 2022. Her arrest was documented on the second season of Bravo’s “RHOSLC.”

Prosecutors Are Objecting to a Professor Who Is Expected to Testify on Shah’s Behalf

In the letter to the choose, which might be learn right here, prosecutors mentioned, “The Government respectfully seeks an order precluding the next testimony from the defendant’s proposed professional, Przemyslaw Jeziorski: (i) any opinions relating to chargeback fraud as missing a dependable basis; and (ii) any opinions relating to the info of this case based mostly on a failure to supply discover of such opinions.”

Prosecutors mentioned Jeziorski is listed as an professional witness in “advertising analytics; quantifying and qualifying leads; lead era strategies; lead brokering; knowledge scraping; the usage of salesfloors and success corporations, together with fee constructions; the usage of CRMs; upselling; chargebacks; and common small enterprise success charges.”

According to prosecutors, Shah’s attorneys say, Jeziorski might testify about “chargebacks,” the place clients declare they did not obtain what was bought. Jeziorski believes fraud involving chargebacks is on the rise, with clients truly receiving what they ordered after which asking for a chargeback from their financial institution.

Prosecutors wrote, “These opinions are purportedly based mostly on Jeziorski’s ‘educating and analysis’ and that he ‘has written chargeback integration with fee methods for his firm and has expertise coping with chargebacks.’ The disclosure supplied no particulars of the related “educating and analysis” or ‘expertise,’ and cited no scholarly articles, treatises, or different secondary sources for these opinions.”

In the court docket submitting, prosecutors mentioned, “The defendant apparently intends to elicit sweeping generalizations in regards to the habits of shoppers and banks based mostly on nothing greater than Jeziorski’s personal private expertise working a enterprise and common ‘educating and analysis.’ … Jeziorski shouldn’t be allowed to opine on the supposed downside of ‘chargeback fraud’ based mostly solely on his personal, restricted private experiences.” They added:

Moreover, there is no such thing as a purpose to imagine that Jeziorski’s expertise working a enterprise would supply dependable perception into why shoppers provoke chargebacks or how banks and bank card corporations deal with chargeback requests. If something, Jeziorski’s proposed testimony makes it clear that companies are sometimes adversarial to banks and shoppers through the chargeback course of, additional undermining the notion that his opinions about chargebacks are dependable. In this case, the defendant’s disclosures don’t specify the character of Jeziorski’s enterprise or his roles inside that enterprise, making it not possible for the Court to judge the reliability of such testimony and for the Government to arrange its cross-examination relating to the premise of his conclusions about chargeback fraud. Accordingly, Jeziorski ought to be precluded from testifying about ‘chargeback fraud.’

Shah’s Attorneys Highlighted Jeziorski’s Qualifications as a Professor

According to the resume submitted by Shah’s attorneys, Jeziorski has been a professor of promoting on the Haas School of Business on the University of California at Berkeley since 2012 and beforehand taught at Johns Hopkins University and was a researcher at Stanford University. His analysis is targeted on, “Quantitative Marketing, Industrial Organization, Antitrust and Regulation, Digital Marketing, Fintech.”

Her legal professional, Priya Chaudry, wrote in a court docket submitting, “If known as at trial, Professor Jeziorski might testify relating to advertising analytics, particularly relating to the usual strategies which are utilized in data-driven advertising, corresponding to lead qualification, concentrating on, and lead brokering. These strategies make up the core of data-driven advertising and are extremely inspired and taught within the discipline of promoting.” She added in regards to the difficulty on the heart of the dispute:

Professor Jeziorski may testify relating to chargebacks, a characteristic of credit score and debit playing cards largely, during which the transaction is reversed as a result of the fee processor believes the cost to be fraudulent or inappropriately charged. Professor Jeziorski will testify that each firm has chargebacks to a point as chargebacks are not possible to keep away from. Explanations for chargebacks embody, however should not restricted to, a buyer shedding a bank card and reporting the cardboard stolen, or a system error during which the fee processor by chance double-charged the shopper; in each examples, the service provider is pressured to return the cash within the type of a chargeback. Professor Jeziorski will even testify relating to chargeback fraud during which clients declare they didn’t obtain what was bought (though the shopper did).

Shah’s assistant, Stuart Smith, pleaded responsible in November 2021 and is awaiting sentencing, which is able to probably come after the conclusion of Shah’s trial. Shah has mentioned on Bravo that she is harmless and shall be combating to clear her identify.

According to federal prosecutors, Shah, of Park City, Utah, is accused of being concerned in a telemarketing rip-off that focused aged individuals. Prosecutors mentioned in a press launch after her arrest that there have been 100s of victims within the case.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on the time, Audrey Strauss, mentioned in an announcement, “Jennifer Shah, who portrays herself as a rich and profitable businessperson on ‘actuality’ tv, and Stuart Smith, who’s portrayed as Shah’s ‘first assistant,’ allegedly generated and bought ‘lead lists’ of harmless people for different members of their scheme to repeatedly rip-off. In precise actuality and as alleged, the so-called enterprise alternatives pushed on the victims by Shah, Smith, and their co-conspirators have been simply fraudulent schemes, motivated by greed, to steal victims’ cash. Now, these defendants face time in jail for his or her alleged crimes.”

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