Ashley Boucher-Thu, February 11, 2021, 12:10 AM
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart‘s personal shopper allegedly stole more than $1 million from the actor by making unauthorized purchases with Hart’s credit cards.
Dylan Jason Syer was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on Wednesday facing grand larceny and other charges, the Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced.
Syer, 29, was charged on a 10-count indictment 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 by acting Queens Supreme Court Justice John Latella.
In addition, the DA filed an asset for forfeiture action against Syer 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.”
According to the DA, Syer first started working with Hart in 2015 when he was hired to obtain several items for the actor through his personal shopping business, Sire Consulting, LLC.
After that, Syer kept Hart’s credit card numbers “with the understanding that he would only make authorized purchases,” the DA said. But according to prosecutors, Syer went on to make more than $1 million worth of “unauthorized charges on those credit cards over the course of 19 months.”
“The investigation revealed that the defendant used his business’s credit card processing account to make unauthorized charges on Mr. Hart’s credit card. Once those credit card charges were processed by Syer’s bank, the proceeds poured into Syer’s checking account,” the DA said.
According to the DA, Syer charged about $923,000 on Hart’s credit cards combined with $240,000 worth of jewelry and watches bought from a California jeweler.
“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.”
Several photos of items described by the DA were still on Syer’s Instagram page as of Wednesday.
After Syer was arrested on Wednesday, investigators searched his home, reportedly discovering about $250,000 worth of cash and goods.
“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 thanked Hart, 41, for his cooperation in the investigation. The actor did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment Wednesday.
Syer is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 17. If convicted as charged, he could face up to 25 years in prison. It was not clear if Syer has obtained legal representation.
He did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Katz called Syer a “cautionary tale,” adding that “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.”
Finally, Katz added that she wants to “send a strong message” to fraudsters 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.”