A social media influencer is behind bars after Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in New York indicted him on charges of identity theft and fraud. Christian Aaron used multiple social media platforms to share his love for luxury handbags, travel, and expensive cars.
According to a statement by Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini, the life presented by Christian Aaron to his hundreds of thousands of followers was not what it seemed. In fact, the DA says the YouTube and Instagram influencer stole the identity of a Long Island woman to fund his lavish lifestyle to support the public image he presented online.
Authorities allege Christian Aaron stole the social security number and identity of the woman to open replacement American Express Cards. According to the indictment, the crime occurred in December 2017. After obtaining the fraudulent credit card, Aaron booked plane tickets to Hawaii from New York. Additionally, he made reservations at Aulani Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii.
While in Hawaii, Aaron and a co-defendant spent more than $19,000.00 on luxury goods at Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Agent Provaceutur. Prosecutors say Aaron attempted to purchase an additional $31,000 through an online retailer. However, the retailer canceled the order due to suspected identity theft.
According to Suffolk County court records, Aaron is facing multiple felonies related to identity theft and fraud. He was booked into Suffolk County Jail on June 21 and held on $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond. Aaron faces from 2 to 7 years in prison for his crimes.
On social media, Aaron uploaded photos and videos of his lavish lifestyle. In videos on YouTube, his videos are a mix of shopping trips, unboxing hauls, and makeup tutorials. He seemed to favor expensive handbags and clothing from luxury brands. Aaron often showed purchases made at Louis Vitton, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Hermes. More than 184,000 people followed him on Instagram. His YouTube channel boasted more than 42,000 subscribers.
On Instagram, Aaron posed in front of Ferrari’s and on top of Range Rovers. Additionally, he shared photos of trips he took to Milan, Paris, New York, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Florida. In several of the videos, he discussed ordering alcoholic beverages despite being only 19-years-old.
Despite the appearance he presented to fans, many suspected that he wasn’t truthful about his income. In a video titled “addressing everything I’ve avoided,” Aaron told viewers that he earned his money buying and reselling luxury handbags. Additionally, he said that he received income working in the IT field. He insisted that he wasn’t super wealthy but also not poor.Now the DA in New York says everything he presented to people online was a lie. District Attorney Timothy Sini said,
“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. His alleged actions have real-world consequences though, including an extremely negative impact on the victim’s credit. This case should serve as a lesson to anyone who believes he or she can operate in anonymity by committing identity theft or other financial crimes either on the internet or over the phone: You will get caught and be held responsible.”
An attorney representing Aaron said that he intends to fight the charges against him. Aaron’s next court appearance is June 25, 2019. As of this morning, he remained in custody.
Not everything we see online is real. Many social media influencers fabricate elaborate lies to gain views, likes and earn money on their platforms. Aaron’s case proves that some influencers will commit crimes to keep up with the persona they develop online.
Given Aaron’s background in IT, there is a likelihood that additional crimes could be charged against him. Over the past two years, he’s traveled and spent thousands on luxury items. There is no telling how many lives he may have destroyed in his quest to become internet famous.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis on The Non-Sequitur Channel. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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