KEVIN Hart's former personal shopper, Dylan Syer, faced court accused of stealing more than $1million from the actor.
The 29-year-old was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court and charged on a 10-count indictment including, 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.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz also filed an action in civil court "seeking to seize, restrain, and ultimately forfeit Syer's assets up to the amount that he allegedly stole. Any recovered assets will first be used to make any victims of this crime whole."
DA Katz told the court how Syer began working for the comedian in 2015 and given his personal credit card numbers "with the understanding that he would only make authorized purchases."
But the DA alleged Syer made "unauthorized charges on those credit cards over the course of 19 months" totalling about $1.2million.
"The investigation revealed that the defendant used his business's credit card processing account to make unauthorized charges on Mr. Hart's credit card," the DA said during the arraignment.
"Once those credit card charges were processed by Syer's bank, the proceeds poured into Syer's checking account."
She said Dyer also allegedly $923,000 on Hart's credit cards and bought $240,000 worth of jewelry and watches.
"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," the DA said.
"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."
Syer had posted some of the purchases to his Instagram page and were still on public view until his arraignment.
The former personal shopper was arrested on Wednesday and when police raided his home they found about $250,000 of allegedly stolen goods at his home.
"No one is immune to being targeted by fraudsters," Katz said in a statement.
"This defendant, who owned a personal shopper business, used legitimate purchases to gain access and then allegedly continued to charge the actor's credit cards for astronomical sums of money."
The DA also wanted to "send a strong message" to criminals that "my team and I are committed to aggressively pursuing these actions and separating those who commit crimes from their ill-gotten gains, and returning those funds, where practical, to support the victims."
She said Hart had thanked her team for their work, but has not yet publicly spoken about the arrest.
Katz warned this incident was a "cautionary tale" and "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."
Hart is one of the worlds richest celebrities alongside Steve Harvey, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David.
He's worth an estimated $200million thanks to his successful standup career and roles in blockbuster films such as, Scary Movie 3’ (2003), ‘Soul Plane’ (2004), ‘Little Fockers’ (2010), and ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ (2017).
To date, his films have generated almost $1.3billion at the global box office.
Hart's breakthrough standup special, Laugh at My Pain grossed $15 million in 2011.
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