What to Know
- Social media influencer Christian Aaron faces fraud and identity theft charges in Suffolk County, New York
- Prosecutors said Friday that Aaron allegedly stole a woman's credit cards and personal info for a Hawaiian trip and shopping spree
- Aaron, with nearly 185,000 followers on Instagram and more than 42,000 subscribers on YouTube, faces up to 7 years in prison
A YouTube and Instagram influencer with hundreds of thousands of social media followers is facing identity theft and fraud charges after alegedly stealing a New York woman's identity to go on a Hawaiian excursion and shopping spree.
Suffolk County prosecutors allege he stole a local woman's identity, ran up $19,000 in charges on credit cards taken out in the victim's name, and attempted to make another $31,000 in online charges.
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
Aaron faces seven felony counts and one misdemeanor charge, with a maximum of up to 7 years in prison if convicted of the top count against him.
"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,” District Attorney Timothy Sini said in a statement.
According to Sini's office, Aaron allegedly used American Express cards belonging to a Suffolk County woman to buy plane tickets from New York to Hawaii and to reserve rooms at a Disney resort there.
While in Hawaii, prosecutors said, he went on a luxury shopping spree at stores like Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana. He also allegedly attempted another shopping spree at an online retailer, but the retailer rejected the orders before shipping.
Attorney information was not immediately available. Emails to the press contact on his Instagram page were not immediately returned.
Aaron's social media accounts show a young man living a luxurious life.
A May 25 post has him posing with a Lamborghini in front of a California mansion, while a YouTube video from the same date shows him touring midtown Manhattan.
His Instagram feed consists largely of modeling poses in global locations, while many of his YouTube videos show Aaron sampling makeup products and demonstrating their use.
Earlier this year, he appeared in an episode of the "Dr. Phil" show talking about the pressures social media puts on young people.
"I've called people peasants. I went through the whole rich phase," Aaron said during a heated confrontation on the show about social media stars and how they treat followers and admirers.