Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Benjamin Ackerman Allegedly Stole Millions From Celebrities By Posing As A Real Estate Broker

Benjamin Eitan Ackerman has been arrested by Los Angeles police after allegedly stealing millions of dollars in fine wine, art, and baseball cards from celebrities.

In what appears to be a one-man “Oceans 11”-style heist, Ackerman seems to have entered homes of at least 13 victims including entertainers like R&B star Usher and singer Jason Derulo, making off with thousands of high-priced items. Investigators believe Ackerman, 32, cased potential targets by attending open houses, posing sometimes as a prospective buyer and sometimes as a real estate agent, always fashionably attired. “He acted the part,” Detective Jared Timmons of the LAPD, who booked Ackerman, said at a press conference on Wednesday. “He was very slick.”

Timmons believes that Ackerman’s understanding of computer technology allowed him to breach high-level security systems at the houses he burglarized. He allegedly blacked-out security footage or removed security tapes all together. The (amusingly named) LAPD website Hollywoodburglary smugmug displays some of the thousands of items found in Ackerman’s storage unit, in an attempt to reunite them with their rightful owners. Among the designer jackets, Cartier watches, and hundreds of bottles of wine are more curious items — decorative crystals, a painting of Darth Vader, and what appears to be a used wash cloth. Ackerman had allegedly been selling fine art and other items in New York.

Ackerman was arrested on September 20, 2018, and has been released on $1 million bail.

Respectfully, we would like to know how anyone could get away with smuggling some of these items. A box of Chopard diamonds is one thing. A double bass is another level of chutzpah entirely.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.