BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has charged a Beverly Hills realtor with burglarizing celebrity homes.
Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, was charged along with an alleged accomplice, identified as Benjamin Eitan Ackerman, 33.
Prosecutors say from 2016 to 2018 the men used open houses to help facilitate the crimes.
The men were charged with 32 counts of money laundering, 12 counts of first-degree residential burglary, two counts of first-degree burglary with a person present, two counts of identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit burglary and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The men took in excess of $500,000 through fraud and embezzlement, the D.A. said.
Yaselli, who was arrested Wednesday, is expected to be arraigned Friday.
Ackerman pleaded not guilty and denied the allegations at his arraignment on Aug. 19. His bail was set at $1.2 million. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 3.
The D.A. alleges Yaselli encouraged Ackerman to steal luxury items from 14 homes, sell them and use the proceeds to make payments on Yaselli’s credit card, according to the criminal complaint.
Celebrity victims named in the criminal complaint include Usher, Adam Lambert, reality TV personalities P.K. and Dorit Kemsley (“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), and former professional football player Shaun Phillips.
In many instances, the pair allegedly identified the targets or committed the burglaries during open houses in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Brentwood and Hollywood Hills, according to Deputy D.A. Stephen Morgan of the White Collar Crime Division.
The defendants face a possible maximum sentence of 31 years and eight months in state prison if convicted on all charges.
The prosecutor recommended bail for Yaselli be set at $1.73 million.
Last January, Ackerman was accused in many of the burglaries. The LAPD showed pictures at a press conference of some of the recovered loot including jewelry, handbags, clothes and expensive wines.
Today, Ackerman’s attorney’s said no charges were filed back then and added, “The District Attorney’s press release, by specifically name Usher Raymond and Adam Lambert as alleged victims, only emphasizes what we believed from day one, that this is a publicity-driven prosecution. The People’s case is no better today than it was a year ago… Unlike a fine wine, this case does not get better with age. Mr. Ackerman is not just presumed to be innocent, he is, in fact, innocent.”
The case remains under investigation by the LAPD.