A screenshot of Christian Aaron's appearance on "The Dr. Phil Show." (Via EIN Presswire)
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - A self-described social media influencer known for sharing shirtless selfies and photos and videos about luxury-label products ripped off a Long Island woman's identity and racked up thousands of dollars of charges to her credit card for a trip to Hawaii, according to prosecutors in New York.
A grand jury indicted Christian T. Aaron, 19, of Hollywood, California, on identity theft and grand larceny charges, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini.
Aaron has more than 42,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, 184,000-plus Instagram followers, and 2,880 followers on Twitter. He describes himself on his Facebook page as a "social media influencer in the beauty community."
Earlier this year, Aaron was a guest on "The Dr. Phil Show" talking about coping with hatred and bullying from online trolls.
"I would always let what everyone else thought control who I am," Aaron said in a press release promoting his appearance on the show. "Dogma and caving in to peer pressure, it's a slippery slope and the end result is losing control over your own life."
In a statement, the district attorney said Aaron wasn't just after money—he also sought to bolster his online fame.
"[H]e committed these crimes in part to keep up the online persona he has crafted for himself and to get likes on social media," Sini said. "His alleged actions have real-world consequences though, including an extremely negative impact on the victim's credit."
The indictment accuses Aaron of buying plane tickets from New York to Hawaii and booking a stay at the Aulani Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii using a Suffolk County woman's American Express credit cards in late 2017, according to the DA.
While he was in Hawaii, Aaron used the woman's name and credit cards to buy about $19,000 worth of clothing and handbags by Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and Agent Provocateur, according to authorities.
Aaron was arraigned in Suffolk County Supreme Court on Friday on two counts of first-degree identity theft, third-degree grand larceny, first-degree attempted identity theft, three counts of second-degree identity theft, and third-degree unlawful possession of personal identification information, the DA's office said.
A judge set bail at $15,000 cash or $30,000 bond. As of about 3 p.m., he was still in custody, a DA's office spokesperson said via email.
As of Friday afternoon, no one had responded to FOX 5 NY's request for comment sent to Aaron's "business/pr inquiries" email address.
"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," Sini said. "You will get caught and be held responsible."
UPDATE: Aaron has been released from custody on bail.