By: Tom Lobianco, CNN
A former assistant to “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Jen Shah was forced to change his plea to guilty this week.
Stuart Smith was arrested in August for allegedly running a billion-dollar fraud scheme that affected banks, businesses and insurers.
Smith, 36, was already charged last year with wire fraud and others, but he’s now pleaded guilty to six counts and will be sentenced on February 21.
The charges against him carry prison terms of 10-years to life, prosecutors said in a press release this week.
Smith made international headlines in 2015 when “Real Housewives” star Shah’s sister, Farrah Abraham, cast Smith as her business manager after their father died. Abraham acknowledged in an interview with CNN that her relationship with Smith sometimes got “heated” with him directing his frustration towards her.
“We had our issues at times, and he was being very verbally abusive, and I didn’t want that with the money,” Abraham said in the interview.
Smith is the fourth co-defendant to plead guilty this week. Two others are due in court later this month to do the same.