Adam Lambert Named as Victim of Realtor’s Thefts
Adam Lambert was named among the alleged victims of a real estate agent’s theft campaign in the Beverley Hills area between 2016 and 2018.
Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, was named in LAPD reports as having set up viewings of properties on sale, then arranged for accomplice Benjamin Ackerman, 33, to sign in as a potential buyer and use the opportunity to raid the homes in question. Variety reported that, along with Lambert, other alleged victims included pop star Usher, actor Dorit Kemsley and NFL player Shaun Phillips.
Ackerman is said to have broken into 14 properties and used the proceeds of the crimes to pay down Yaselli’s credit card bill, with transfers ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. When first questioned by cops in September last year, the payments stopped. Ackerman was arrested in January after a search of his home and a storage unit allegedly resulted in the discovery of artwork, jewelry, clothes, wine and other stolen items.
Both face a total of 50 charges, including 32 counts of money laundering and 14 counts of burglary. Bail was set at $1.7 million for Yaselli and $1.2 million for Ackerman.
“The District Attorney’s press release, by specifically naming Usher and Adam Lambert as alleged victims, only emphasizes what we have believed from day one, that this is a publicity-driven prosecution,” Ackerman’s attorney, Gary Jay Kaufman, said in a 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. Ackerman is not just presumed to be innocent, he is, in fact, innocent.”
Lambert put his Hollywood Hills home up for sale in 2017 at a price of $3.9 million. It failed to sell at that price and returned to the market in May this year at $3.6 million. In 2014, when he bought it, the business deal was overseen by the Keller Williams agency, with which Yaselli was associated. The firm's website showed an error on the page that had formerly displayed Yaselli's details.