A Los Angeles man involved in the multi-million dollar theft operation that targeted A-list celebrities’ jewelry and artwork among other prized possessions learned his fate on Wednesday.
Benjamin Eitan Ackerman, 37, the man who posed as a real estate agent to pull off the thefts was sentenced to 31 years behind bars.
Ackerman looked defeated inside Los Angeles Superior Court throughout his sentencing, photos obtained by the Daily Mail showed.
Ackerman and his accomplice, Jason Yaselli, a former Keller Williams realtor, used the cover of open houses to plan and execute high-value heists of 14 mansions in the LA area from December 2016 to July 2018.
Yaselli allegedly told Ackerman to rob at least 14 mansions in the Hollywood area and sell the stolen items to help pay Yaselli’s credit card off.
Prosecutors say Ackerman deposited between $5,500 and $20,000 into Yaselli’s account each month.
The duo’s victims included musicians Adam Lambert, Usher, and Jason Derulo along with “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” stars Paul and Dorit Kemsley, former NFL player Shaun Phillips and former Vanity Fair’s deputy editor Punch Hutton.
Hutton took the stand on Wednesday to give an impact statement at the hearing, as her statement was key to Ackerman’s arrest because she found foot and fingerprints used to capture the thief.
The duo had stolen thousands of items in their hits, and even hit one house, reported to be the home of the Kemsleys, and stole over 150 luxury items estimated to be valued at $2.5 million and totaling 5.5 million, the outlet reported.
Officers also recovered 43 purses, 30 bracelets, 25 necklaces and a Social Security card before discovering framed photos of several celebrities including Mick Jagger and David Bowie.
Ackerman and Yaselli also targeted Ackerman’s former rabbi, who was a close family friend who owned a family heirloom that the family was partially sold to help the family escape the Nazis.
Ackerman used his knowledge of the home’s layout and safe location to steal several items including the heirloom.
Police have yet to recover it, the outlet said.
Ackerman was arrested in 2019 days after Yaselli was caught at LAX.
In September, Ackerman was found guilty of three counts of first-degree residential burglary, two months after he pleaded no contest to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 11 counts of first-degree residential burglary and 25 counts of money laundering.
“This justice for those victimized by ‘The Bling Ring’ and his actions that shook their sense of trust and security in their own homes can hopefully bring them a sense of solace as they move on from this trial,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said after Ackerman was found guilty.
“While their belongings cannot be replaced, I hope this outcome assures them that such behavior will not be tolerated in our community.”