A teenage social media influencer has been indicted for stealing the identity of a woman residing in Long Island, and using her American Express credit cards to go on a lavish $19,000 shopping spree.
Christian Aaron, aged 19, who has more than 180,000 Instagram followers and 42,000 YouTube followers, is currently facing seven felony counts and one misdemeanor charge, including charges for identity theft, grand larceny, and unlawful possession of personal identification information.
The gay teen, who resides in Hollywood, California, is famous for posting makeup tutorials, unboxing videos of luxury items, and pictures from trips to Maui, Europe, and Coachella. However, as it turns out, the source of the funding for this extravagant lifestyle may be questionable.
As per court papers filed in Suffolk County court, prosecutors allege that in December 2017 Aaron and an unnamed co-defendant obtained the Amex information of Smithtown resident Lisa Caldararo, and requested two replacement cards in her name.
They then used the cards to purchase a luxury vacation from New York to Hawaii, and designer bags and clothes by brands such as Dolce and Gabbana and Chanel. In addition, Aaron also called American Express multiple times and impersonated Caldararo to try to open new credit cards in her name – however, the orders were cancelled.
Prosecutors also allege that Aaron attempted to run up an additional $31,000 in charges after going on a shopping spree on The RealReal (an online luxury consignment store) – however, the retailer cancelled his orders before shipping.
“As with all of the financial crimes our office investigates and prosecutes, this was an act of greed, but this defendant wasn’t just after money; he committed these crimes in part to keep up the online persona he has crafted for himself and to get likes on social media,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini. “His alleged actions have real-world consequences though, including an extremely negative impact on the victim’s credit.”
Aaron pleaded not guilty, and bail has been set at $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond. The gravest charges against him carry a maximum prison sentence of seven years.
“We’re ready for him to get bailed out and fight the charges,” said his attorney Mark Muccigrosso, ahead of Aaron’s next court date on coming Tuesday.