Kevin Hart reportedly fell victim to a million-dollar scam, which was carried out by one of his employees.
According to TMZ, the comedian’s personal shopper, Dylan Syer, is accused of defrauding Hart of $1.2 million between October 2017 and February 2019. New York prosecutors say Syer began working for Hart in 2015 and began building the actor’s trust through authorized purchases; however, as the years went by, Syer allegedly began using Hart’s credit card to pour money into his own account.
Queens County D.A. Melinda Katz says the personal shopper used the stolen funds to buy extravagant items, including everything from a Sam Friedman painting and multiple Louis Vuitton bags to 16 Bearbrick collectible pieces and five Patek Philippe watches valued at more than $400,000. The DA is now looking to seize Syer’s assets up to the amount he allegedly stole.
“No one is immune to being targeted by fraudsters ...” Katz said in a press release. “The defendant thought he was beyond reach and was living out his uber-rich lifestyle fantasies. But my team uncovered the bogus purchases – from the credit card charges being processed by the bank, down to tracking FedEx packages delivered to Syer’s home and business. This should serve as a cautionary tale for everyone. Regardless of whether you are a celebrity or not, anyone can fall victim to this kind of fraud. It is paramount to keep track of your expenses, check your credit reports and diligently keep your financial information to yourself.”
Syer has been charged with grand larceny in the first and second degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the first and second degree, identity theft in the first degree, and scheme to defraud in the first degree. He faces up 25 years in prison if convicted. Syer is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 17.