BEVERLY HILLS—Real estate agents Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, and Benjamin Eitan Ackerman, 33, has been charged with multiple counts of burglarizing celebrity homes during open house sessions from 2016 to 2018, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday, August 22.
Prosecutors charged both Yaselli and Ackerman 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.
Artist/singer Usher, actor Adam Lambert, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” stars Paul and Dorit Kemsley, and former NFL player Shaun Phillips are some of the names listed in court documents impacted by the crimes.
Investigators found evidence that the men committed crimes from 14 homes with items in cities including, Hollywood Hills Beverly Hills, Westwood, Brentwood, West Hollywood Tarzana, Studio City and Santa Monica. The suspects would sell the luxury items stolen from the properties to make payments on Yaselli’s credit card, according to the criminal complaint.
Expensive artwork, jewelry and other languorous items were popular commodities stolen by the realtors and later resold to the public. Investigators found a storage unit registered by the real estate agents that kept some of the property of the victims.
On August 16, Ackerman was arrested and pleaded not guilty to the crimes on Monday August 19 with bail set at $1.2 million. He has a preliminary hearing schedule October 3.
Yaselli was arrested by authorities on Wednesday, August 21 at the LAX airport with his bail set a $1.73 million. His scheduled arraignment was on Friday, August 23.
The case is still under investigation with the LAPD. If convicted both assailants could face up to 31 years and eight months in prison.