The Los Angeles Police Department says realtor Jason Emil Yaselli set up viewings for upscale properties and then arranged for an associate, Benjamin Ackerman, to sign in as a potential buyer and subsequently raid the homes.
Other notable victims are NFL player Shaun Phillips and Real Housewife Dorit Kemsley.
Between 2016 - 2018, Ackerman is said to have entered 14 properties, robbed them and used proceeds to pay Yaselli's large credit card debts. The LAPD say transfers ranged from $5,000 - $20,000.
When Ackerman was questioned by the LAPD last September, the payments suddenly stopped, police note. Ackerman was arrested in January after police discovered stolen artwork, jewelry, wine and clothes in his home and a storage unit that he owns.
Both men face 50 charges, including 32 counts of money laundering and 14 counts of burglary. Yaselli's bail was set at $1.7 million. Ackerman's bail was set at $1.2 million.
In a statement, Ackerman's attorney said his client is innocent and characterized the District Attorney's announcement, and its naming of celebrity victims, as "publicity-driven prosecution."
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