CELEBRITY PERSONAL SHOPPER CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING COMEDIAN KEVIN HART OUT OF MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT CREDIT CARD PURCHASES
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Dylan Jason Syer, 29, of Long Island City, has been indicted and was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on grand larceny and other charges for allegedly making over a million dollars in unauthorized charges and purchases using the credit cards of actor/comedian Kevin Hart between October 12, 2017 through February 25, 2019.
District Attorney Katz said, “No one is immune to being targeted by fraudsters. 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 continued, “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.”
The defendant was just arraigned late this afternoon before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice John Latella on a 10-count indictment charging him 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. Justice Latella set the defendant’s return date for February 17, 2021. If convicted Syer faces up to 25 years in prison.
The DA said Syer first became acquainted with the actor/comedian in 2015 through his personal shopping business, Sire Consulting, LLC, through which he was contracted to obtain several items for the actor. Through that connection, the defendant acquired Mr. Hart’s various credit card numbers with the understanding that he would only make authorized purchases. Instead, he allegedly made over one million dollars’ 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. In total, Syer allegedly charged approximately $923,000 on Mr. Hart’s credit cards without authorization, in addition to $240,000 worth of jewelry and watches purchased from a high-end jeweler in California.
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.
In addition to the criminal charges being pursued, the DA also announced the filing of an asset 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.
DA Katz said, “I want to send a strong message to the defendant and others who seek financial gain through the victimization of others, 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.”
Following the defendant’s arrest earlier today, investigators executed a Court-authorized search warrant for the defendant’s home. At that time, police seized approximately $250,000 worth of cash and goods.
The District Attorney would like to thank Kevin Hart for his cooperation in this investigation.
The investigation was conducted by Detective David Moore of the Queens District Attorney’s Detective Bureau, under the supervision of Chief Edwin Murphy and Deputy Chief Daniel O’Brien, and Financial Analyst Edwin Cuebas, under the supervision of Joseph Plonski, Director of the Forensic Accounting Unit.
The District Attorney would like to thank the New York City Police Department’s Asset Forfeiture Unit who assisted on this case through the work of Detectives James Tasevoli and James La Rosa, under the supervision of Lieutenant Alfred A Batteli, under the overall supervision of Assistant Chief Christopher J. McCormack. The DA also would like to acknowledge the contributions of Detective Christopher Brewer of the Glendale Police Department in Glendale, California for his assistance in this case and Private Investigator Jon Perkins, who works for Kevin Hart.
Assistant District Attorney Anish Patel, of the Queens District Attorney’s Major Economic Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Mary Lowenburg, Bureau Chief, Catherine Kane and Jonathan Scharf, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.