Comedian 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, 29, began working for Hart in 2015 and began building the actor’s trust through authorized purchases. As the years went by, Syer allegedly began using Hart’s credit card to pour money into his own account.
Syer is 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. If convicted, Syer faces up to 25 years in prison.
Syer first met Hart in 2015, according to Katz’s office. Prior to his arrest, Syer was contracted several times to be Hart’s personal shopper.
In total, Syer is accused of using about $923,000 on Hart’s credit cards on unauthorized purchases, on top of spending $240,000 of the actor’s money on jewelry and watches.
A statement from the Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz stated, “With Mr. Hart’s stolen money in the defendant’s bank account and at his disposal, the defendant then purchased thousands of dollars of fine art and other collectibles, and at least 5 Patek Phillipe watches valued at more than $400,000. Among these art and collectible purchases was a Sam Friedman painting, at least 16 Bearbrick collectible dolls, 5 KAWS collectible dolls, and two Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere bags. Photographs of these items featured prominently on the defendant’s public Instagram page.”
“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,” the statement continued.
“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,” said Katz.