A Los Angeles real estate agent is suspected of helping and encouraging an impostor to steal from celebrities’ homes.

Beverly Hills agent Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, and Benjamin Eitan Ackerman, 33, were charged with using open houses to burglarize the homes of stars including musicians Usher, Jason Derulo and Adam Lambert, former football player Shaun Phillips, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘ Dorit Kemsley. Although Ackerman was arrested on suspicion of theft in 2018, investigators now believe Yaselli, who is listed on realtor.com as an agent for Keller Williams Beverly Hills, served as Ackerman’s accomplice in the crime spree between 2016 to 2018.

Jason Yaselli

At the time, only Ackerman had been named as a suspect. The Los Angeles Police Department announced that a search of Ackerman’s home and storage unit produced more than 2,000 stolen items, including expensive jewelry, rare art and fine wine. The District Attorney now believes Yaselli, whose professional website is bare but for the words “coming soon,” encouraged Ackerman to pose as a real estate agent and steal the luxury items from 14 celebrity homes.

The two men would then sell the items and use the proceeds to make monthly payments of between $5,566 and $20,000 on Yaselli’s credit card bill. (Ackerman was arrested but not formally charged in September.)

It was unclear if Yaselli had any professional ties to the open houses or if, like Ackerman, he simply posed as an agent representing a client.

Yaselli and Ackerman now face charges that include money laundering, residential burglary and identity theft. They are suspected of stealing more than $500,000 through fraud and embezzlement. If convicted, they could each face as much as 31 years in prison.

While Ackerman pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Aug. 19, Yaselli is expected to be arraigned Friday. A prosecutor recommended a bail of $1.73 million. A trial for Ackerman, who is reportedly out on $1.2 million bail, is scheduled for Oct. 3. His attorney insists he is innocent and that none of the charges have been proven in court.

The LAPD investigation into the case is still ongoing.

Benjamin Ackerman

“The District Attorney’s press release, by specifically naming Usher Raymond and Adam Lambert as alleged victims, only emphasizes what we have believed from day one, that this is a publicity driven prosecution,” lawyer Gary Jay Kaufman said in a media statement.

“The People’s case is no better today than it was a year ago. Unlike a fine wine, this case does not get better with age. Mr. Ackerman is not just presumed to be innocent, he is in fact innocent.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription