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This Beverly Hills Real Estate Agent Broke Into Celebrities' Homes And Sold Stolen Goods To Pay Off Credit Card

Photo: Keller Williams
Who Is Jason Emil Yaselli? New Details On Beverly Hills Real Estate Agent Arrested For Breaking Into Celebrities' Homes

In a crime saga that sounds like something that should be optioned for a cable movie, a Beverly Hills real estate agent and his accomplice are under arrest for stealing items from homes listed for sale. Benjamin Ackerman was arrested a year ago in possession of thousands of items reported missing from homes around LA that people were selling. Police found evidence that he posed as a realtor or a buyer and cased the houses before going back to take art, jewelry and other luxury goods. He targeted houses owned by celebrities such as Usher and Dorit from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Now, cops have identified and arrested a real estate agent named Jason Yaselli who was apparently the brains behind the operation. He told Ackerman where to go and what to steal. Ackerman would then sell the goods and use the money to pay Yaseli's credit card bills.

Who is Jason Yaseli and what did he do? Read on for all the details. 

1. Ackerman arrested first

It's been almost a year since LAPD arrested Benjamin Eitan Ackerman on suspicions of burglarizing a number of houses in Beverly Hills. According to the statement from the department, Ackerman stole from houses listed for sale in an around that area. "[Ackerman] posed as a realtor and later as a home buyer several weeks prior to the burglary. The suspect has signed the open house ledger in several cases prior to the homes being burglarized using a variation of his name. The suspect has also been known to claim that he works for an investment firm, which was confirmed as false."  A search of Ackerman's home and storage unit turned up over 2000 stolen items including jewelry, artwork, wine, clothing and handbags.

2. Major criminal enterprise

Ackerman didn't just hit one or two houses and leave it at that. Police suspect that he has been at this game for several years. Within a few months of his arrest, cops were able to identify at least 13 victims of his crimes. LAPD wrote that "The suspect mainly targets high-value homes and celebrity homes, however, one of the victims turned out to be a family friend.

One of the homes targeted belonged to Dorit from RHOBH.

3. Not working alone

In the course of the continued investigation of Ackerman, police realized he wasn't working alone. It's not clear how they figured out that Ackerman had an accomplice but at some point, they discovered that Ackerman was using the proceeds from the sale of stolen goods to make payments on a credit card for Jason Emil Yaselli, a realtor who sells the kinds of houses that Ackerman robbed. In a press release, the LA County DA said: "From December 2016 through August 2018, Yaselli allegedly encouraged Ackerman to steal luxury items from 14 homes, sell them and use the proceeds to make payments on Yaselli’s credit card, according to the criminal complaint."

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4. High-end realtor

Before his arrest, Yaselli was evidently a realtor for Keller Williams. The company has since scrubbed him from their website but The Heavy found an old Instagram post showing a house that Yaslei sold. The gorgeous home in Beverly Hills went for $3.6 million. He also apparently had access homes listed by celebrities including Usher and Adam Lambert, homes he instructed Ackerman to rob.

Yaseli was crediting with selling this multi-million dollar house.

5. In serious trouble

Neither Yaselli nor Ackerman are likely to get off with a slap on the wrist. According to the DA's release, they have been charged with 32 counts of money laundering, 12 counts of first-degree residential burglary, two counts of first-degree residential burglary with a person present, two counts of identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit burglary and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  They apparently stole over half a million dollars through fraud and embezzlement. They could each face up to 31 years in jail. 

6. Denying any guilt

Yaselli hasn't issued any statements yet but Ackerman has a lawyer who contends that his client is innocent of all changes. Variety reports that in a statement, attorney Gary Jay Kaufman said, “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,” he said. “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.” 

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7. Still trying to return stolen goods

The LAPD is still trying to connect items from Ackerman's stash to their rightful owners. In January, they said "Detectives would like to speak with anyone that has purchased any items including, but not limited to artwork, jewelry, handbags, clothing, shoes, etc., from Benjamin Eitan Ackerman or done business with him, in the Southern California area as well as anywhere in the United States, as detectives have discovered evidence that the suspect travels to places like New York." There is even a link to photos of the stolen items for people to check and see if anything looks familiar. 

Prosecutors recommended that bail for Yaselli be set at $1.73 million.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.