On last week’s The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Meredith Marks’ stunning theft accusation rocked her castmates.
She wasn’t just angry that one of Jen Shah’s employees allegedly stole from her. She was mad that the employee wasn’t fired.
That was not all, because Meredith shared a rumor that Jen was “red-flagged” at Louis Vuitton.
Jen denies it. Who is telling the truth? And what would being “red-flagged” even mean?
On RHOSLC, the ladies were sitting down to a meal — without Jen Shah.
This is where Meredith Marks opted to share a shady experience that she recalled having with her non-friend.
Jen had gone to her storefront in New York, apparently with an entourage of her own employees.
On its own, that would be neutral or possibly even flattering.
But during the visit, a bag appeared to go missing from the store.
According to Meredith, an employee of Jen’s had swiped it and left with it.
Many times, Real Housewives will present the camera with screenshots and text messages.
Meredith went above and beyond.
It was her store, so she supplied Bravo with her security footage and let them include the alleged theft in the episode.
Some of us still remember when RHOSLC was first announced, and some Bravoholics dismissed the spinoff, sure that it would be “boring.”
Jen Shah is many things, but she is not well-behaved enough to be boring by any stretch of the imagination.
And frankly, she’s not the only member of the cast with an appetite for trouble.
For the record, Jen has loudly clapped back at the accusation that an employee of hers stole from Meredith.
(Meredith says that she has footage of the unnamed employee lifting the bag, leaving with it, and returning with it when called out)
Perhaps she was doing a favor by keeping the police out of it, but Jen says that if Meredith suspected a crime, she should call 911. Wow.
Meredith had more to say, but this time, she did not have such ample evidence, and admitted that she cannot confirm the “gossip.”
But apparently she heard that Jen has been “red-flagged” at Louis Vuitton.
Viewers have had a lot to say about Mary Cosby’s role on the show, but her reaction here illustrates why she’s on the cast:
Okay, so what would being red-flagged mean?
Basically, Louis Vuitton is a high-end designer (obviously) with strict, strict limits on what people can buy.
Whether you saved up all year to shop there or you’re Mackenzie Scott, the rules are the same.
Stores do this sort of thing for a couple of reasons.
The first is simple: to make sure that they always have things in stock for their customers.
The second is to create artificial scarcity, like the diamond industry, reinforcing how exclusive their brand is.
But … none of that explains what it would mean to be “red-flagged” by the store.
The thing is, to enforce the purchase limits per customer, they do more than just limit what you buy in a single trip.
They track your customer history to make sure that you’re not just coming in repeatedly to buy up all of the merchandise.
This applies even to cash transactions, or that obvious loophole would be exploited.
So if someone were red-flagged, it might be for somehow trying to cheat the system.
This could mean trying to bypass the store’s tracking. It could also mean a suspicious volume of returns.
This is where we get into murky waters, because the implications behind returning bags for cash are … well, potentially criminal.
Part of the reason that Jen Shah was arrested was for money laundering, after all.
Meredith isn’t saying all that much about Jen, but she’s letting her castmates — and the viewers — connect the dots.
Money laundering isn’t always that complicated.
Sometimes, it just means that someone buys expensive things with ill-gotten gains and then sells them for cash.
That new money? Totally legitimate and easy to explain. You could always claim that the original items were a gift.
We’re sure that there’s more to it. We don’t claim to be the experts on, you know, crime.
But it seems that Meredith is implying that Jen may have been doing just that, or something similar.
She is very careful to not make any direct accusations or claim to have any special knowledge of anything except what happened in her own store.
For the record, there was already a blind item saying that one of the Housewives of Salt Lake City was in a pickle with Louis Vuitton.
However, Jen Shah quote-tweeted one such claim and declared that she was not the Housewife in question, that it was about someone else.
It would be interesting to hear who that might be … if one believes Jen’s denial, of course.