Entertainment Kevin Hart's personal shopper appears in court
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Kevin Hart's former personal shopper appeared in court virtually on Thursday, as he faces grand larceny charges for allegedly using the actor's credit cards to fund his own lavish lifestyle.
The actor/comedian hired Dylan Syer, 29, in 2015 to buy personal items for him, but over time, Syer started using Hart's credit cards to funnel cash into his personal accounts and purchase $1.2 million in luxury items he shipped his home and business, Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
THE 'ROLEX RIPPERS' STRIKE AGAIN: In the UK, police are searching for two women dubbed the 'Rolex Rippers'. The women stand outside of exclusive golf clubs, posing as charity workers with clipboards, before they snatch expensive watches off the wrists of wealthy elderly men as they sign their petitions. One time, the women went so far as pretending one of them was deaf, asking patrons to sign their petition for a new deaf center. The wristwatch-loving thieves have so far made off with 14 watches in the space of a year, and are believed to be operating in affluent areas of southern England.
The women seem to target lone men in their 70s. Sometimes, they're subtle in their thievery. Other times, they rip the time pieces off and run, leaving the men bruised, shocked and worst of all watchless. Alan Bruce, who lost his $19,000 (£14,000) gold Rolex watch, described the pair as 'highly trained professionals' who are likely to be part of a wider gang. Both women are said to be in their 20s or 30s and between 5-foot-2- and 5-foot-9-inches. They both have dark hair and Eastern European accents, although some victims have believed them to be Spanish.
The most recent theft happened just last week when another man in his 70s was approached by the pair in a parking garage. As he signed their petition, one of them grabbed and hugged the victim, and removed his Rolex without him noticing. Dorset Police have not yet officially linked the thefts but have acknowledged 'a number of incidents of a similar nature'. Police Constable Jim Perks, of Christchurch Police, said: 'We have had a number of incidents of a similar nature and I would again remind people to be vigilant and be particularly careful if you are wearing any high value watches or jewelry and are approached in suspicious circumstances.'
Abbas almost went from rags to riches. He was raised by his father, who worked as a taxi driver, and his mother, who sold bread, in a poor town near Lagos before he ended up in a penthouse in Dubai. Kristi Johnson, who leads the FBI's office in LA, said Abbas was 'among the most high-profile money launderers in the world' and was part of a network that defrauded businesses across the globe, though many of his victims were in the US. The FBI says Abbas and his network tricked businesses into handing over large sums of money using business email compromise - or BEC - attacks, a scam that's particularly common in Nigeria, where around 50% of all BEC schemes originate.
Acting US attorney Tracy L. Wilkison shared: 'Mr. Abbas, who played a significant role in the scheme, funded his luxurious lifestyle by laundering illicit proceeds generated by con artists who use increasingly sophisticated means.' Wilkison went on to promise: 'In conjunction with our law enforcement partners, we will identify and prosecute perpetrators of business email compromise scams, which is a massive and growing international crime problem.' If convicted, Hushpuppi faces 20 years behind bars in the US.
'NO CHILD SHOULD EVER BE TREATED IN THIS MANNER': In a sadder instance of things not being as they seem, an Arkansas couple forced their adopted son to spend his formative years in a wheelchair being treated for a terminal illness that he never had. The boy was even put on a feeding tube and transferred to hospice care as part of the couple's twisted scam to get donations. Kristy and Erik Schneider are being sued by state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for the $31,000 they swindled out of their neighbors in the heartless scam. Kristy (pictured) also faces a felony charge for allegedly endangering the welfare of a minor.
The couple adopted Louie when he was five years old in 2014, and had him treated at multiple hospitals between 2017 and 2019, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that Louie is a victim of factitious disorder, formerly known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and defines it as 'falsification of physical or psychological signs or symptoms, or induction of injury or disease, in another, associated with identified deception.' The disorder is most often linked to the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, whose mother Dee Dee made her use a wheelchair and subjected her to unnecessary surgery and treatment for a feigned chronic disability. Kristy first started soliciting donations for Louie in February 2019, when she created a profile on a fundraising site called CaringBridge.org. In her first post, she wrote that Louie had a 'rare chromosomal abnormality that led to him being globally developmentally delayed,' according to the lawsuit. That same year, after a doctor 'provided (Louie) with proper nutrition and liquid for nine days', he reportedly ended up looking 'better than he had in months', but his parents didn't accept that. They demanded Louie stay on a feeding tube and 'flippantly remarked that he “did a bad job of dying,”' the lawsuit reads.
Since the Arkansas Department of Human Services filed a petition for dependency-neglect on September 13, 2019, alleging that Louie was at 'substantial risk of serious harm as a result of abuse, neglect and parental unfitness', he was placed in state custody at 11 years old. The lawsuit seeks fines for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and attorneys fees. In Arkansas, each violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act could result in injunctions and civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation. The lawsuit reads that days after being in DHS custody, Louie got out of his wheelchair and his health greatly improved, according to THV11.
The British thug pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence at Croydon Crown Court. Forde wrote an open letter to the court expressing his sorrow and remorse. He said: 'I am sorry for the pain I caused the victim. I know what I done was very wrong. and I hope I have not affected the victim and his daughter too much.' He was sentenced to three years and six months for possession of a prohibited firearm by a prohibited person and four years for possession of a firearm to cause fear of violence in court on Thursday.
Alfredo Rivera, who was sitting in a seat behind Berry (pictured), captured the 22-year-old while he was scuffling with the flight attendant who was trying to subdue him. 'He started to get aggressive and basically attack the male flight attendant,' Rivera told Local10.com. Rivera captured the moment Berry was taped to his seat while fellow passengers looked on. Berry's head appears to be taped down along with the rest of his body as he screams 'help!'
After the Frontier plane landed, the 22-year-old was charged with three counts of battery and taken to Miami-Dade County Jail-TGK Correctional Center, 6abc.com reported. Frontier Airlines confirmed the incident and said the flight attendants involved will be relieved of flying until investigations into the incidents are complete. Violent episodes like these continue to become more frequent on airplanes and at airports as air travel picks up during the pandemic.
DRONE CAUSES BUZZ AT NYPD COUNTERTERRORISM BUREAU: Finally, this Texan tourist has a one-of-a-kind New York City tale to take home after he found himself – more like, flew himself – to the center of an unfounded terrorist threat in New York City. Adam Ismail, 22, (pictured) was using his drone to film an Instagram video when he accidentally crashed it into the front entrance of the 42-story 7 World Trade Center building, the first to be rebuilt after 9/11. Unbeknownst to Ismail, while he was asking employees at the front desk for help getting his drone down – an impossible task – members of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau were on their way to question the young tourist.
A six-hour interrogation at the fountain (pictured) followed. 'They interview me, ask me a few questions: where am I from, what am I doing, why am I in New York and the just the series of events that took place and everything,' Ismail recalled. 'I've been asked the same questions more than I can count on two hands so they can confirm I'm not BSing my story and I'm here to do what I said I was doing.' Ismail said: 'Everybody was a good sport. I didn't give the cops a hard time, and they didn't give me a hard time. They just had to check that I was doing what I said I was doing.'
He was arrested in February, and was charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, identity theft and scheme to defraud.
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On Thursday, he made a virtual court appearance with his lawyer, wearing a simple gray t-shirt.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the Queens County District Attorney's Office for more information about what had transpired in court on Thursday.
Syer reportedly started working for Hart, 42, in 2015, when the actor entered into a contract with his personal shopping firm, Sire Consulting LLC.
He started out buying him the items the actor requested.
But between October 12, 2017 and February 25, 2019, the District Attorney's Office claims, Syer started using the actor's credit card to bolster his personal accounts and get luxury items sent to his home, which he would later show off on his Instagram page.
He would reportedly use his business credit card processing account to make charges on Hart's credit card, and once they were processed, he would transfer the money into his own checking account.
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In total, Syer is accused of purchasing nearly $1.2 million in luxury items - including five Patek Philippe watches worth over $400,000, a pair of Louis Vuitton bags, 16 collectible dolls by Bearbrick - which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per doll, a Sam Friedman painting and five KAWS collectible dolls.
In since-deleted Instagram posts, Sire reportedly showed off his designer items and flaunted his wealth with trips to Morocco, Switzerland and Monaco.
One post showed a blue Dior sweater, that sells for more than $2,000, according to the, next to some Christian Dior and Nike Air Jordan Calfskin Men's Oblique low sneakers, which could cost as much as $10,000.
The Glendale Police Department said upon his arrest that it first started its investigation in February 2019, after Hart reported that numerous unauthorized transactions were made.
Comedy Cellar Holds Guests Hostage as It Floods Due to Ida During Surprise Al Franken Stand-Up Set
Easy-going laughs turned to nervous chuckles at Manhattan’s Comedy Cellar on Wednesday night, as the basement suddenly began to flood, cutting short surprise guest Al Franken’s set. But instead of hurriedly ushering guests out so they could escape New York City’s flash floods, the venue made people wait in rising waters to close out their tabs. Video from the night shows people clambering onto chairs to avoid the flooding, with wait staff stomping through ankle-high waters trying to collect payment.
Following his arrest, the DA's office said, police officers raided his home and seized approximated $250,000 worth of cash and goods. They were working to repossess all of the goods illegally purchased in an effort to recoup Hart's losses.
The actor is worth approximately $200 million.
'The defendant thought he was beyond reach and was living out his uber-rich lifestyle fantasies,' Katz said in a statement following his arrest.
'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.'
'Regardless of whether you are a celebrity or not, anyone can fall victim to this kind of fraud,' she added. 'It is paramount to keep track of your expenses, check your credit card reports and diligently keep your financial information to yourself.'
If convicted, Syer could face up to 25 years in prison.
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