According to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, from December 2016 through August 2018, real estate agent Jason Emil Yaselli and Benjamin Eitan Ackerman stole luxury items from 14 homes, including musicians Usher Raymond and Adam Lambert, as well as “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” stars Paul and Dorit Kemsley.
From the district attorney’s announcement:
Realtor Jason Emil Yaselli (dob 12/10/86) and Benjamin Eitan Ackerman (dob 4/24/86), both of Beverly Hills, are each charged in case BA480314 with 32 counts of money laundering, 12 counts of first-degree residential burglary, two counts of first-degree residential 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 charges include an allegation of taking more than $500,000 through fraud and embezzlement.
The district attorney’s office explained that according to the criminal complaint, Yaselli allegedly coerced Ackerman to steal items from his victims, so he could make payments on his personal credit card.
Last year, Ackerman was arrested in connection to the crimes, but was released less than a week later without charges. In a recent statement to CNN, Ackerman’s attorney, Gary Kaufman, said prosecutors still do not have a good case against him.
“The district attorney’s press release, by specifically naming Usher Raymond and Adam Lambert as alleged victims, only emphasizes what we have believed from day one, that this is a publicity driven prosecution,” Kaufman said. “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.”
According to the district attorney’s office, if convicted as charged, Ackerman and Yaselli face a possible maximum sentence of 31 years and eight months in state prison. Currently, the case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.