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Why Meredith Marks Hasn’t Grilled Jen Shah: ‘I Don’t Want to Implicate Myself in a Federal Investigation’

Meredith Marks Says, Jen Shah

Meredith Marks Says, Jen Shah

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; Chad Kirkland/Bravo

Meredith Marks realizes Real Housewives of Salt Lake City may have to move forward without Jen Shah amid her ongoing legal troubles.

The reality star — who briefly spoke with PEOPLE about her castmate’s legal issues while promoting Meredith Marks jewelry line at fellow housewive Sutton Stracke‘s Sutton Concept boutique — believes that Shah is “a huge part of the show.”

“It’s not like a question mark. There’s no question mark about that,” Marks, 50, says. “Mary [Cosby] was a huge part of the show. You move forward. And I assume they’ll have some new people, I don’t really know, but you have to move on. There’s nothing we can do. It’s life.”

Jen Shah

Jen Shah

Jen Shah.
Chad Kirkland/Bravo/ Getty

Marks admits that she was “very shocked” when Shah plead guilty for her part in an alleged telemarketing scheme scandal in July, but doesn’t want to ask her for details about the case.

“She really can’t talk about any of the reasoning behind why she went down that path, nor would I ask her,” she says of Shah. “Because I don’t want to implicate myself in a federal investigation, contrary to what everyone else thinks, it’s not really my vibe. So I don’t really understand how we got to where we are right now. And eventually I hope that I do understand.”

Marks reveals that Shah has been “a good friend” despite their friendship being “a rocky road.” She adds that the reality star’s life is “a gray area” as she awaits her sentencing in the fraud case.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY

Chad Kirkland/Bravo

“It’s not a great place to be sitting and no one wants to be sitting and waiting their sentencing,” she says. “And I just hope for the best outcome for everybody.”

“She’s in a position where she’s been through a lot and she needs support from people around her, who know a lot of the issues that have gone on,” she adds. “And I don’t want to see something bad happen to her.”

Jen was arrested in March 2021 alongside assistant Stuart Smith. Both were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The housewife initially plead not guilty and even had her legal team file paperwork to dismiss the charges, but had a change of plans and switched to a guilty plea back in July.

RELATED VIDEO: RHOSLC Star Jen Shah Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

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“Ms. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line,” Priya Chaudhry, an attorney for the reality star, told PEOPLE at the time. “She accepts full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed. Ms. Shah is also sorry for disappointing her husband, children, family, friends, and supporters. Jen pled guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.”