2018-02-28 / Front Page

Convicted For Stealing John Legend’s Luggage From Kennedy Airport

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced on February 20 that a jury has convicted a 64-year-old Corona man of criminally possessing the Louis Vuitton bag of singer and songwriter John Legend in March of 2017. The carry-on luggage—which contained clothing, toiletries and an expensive pair of Cartier panther-head cufflinks—was left unattended on a cart at Terminal 4 in Kennedy Airport when the defendant rolled it away.

DA Brown said, “The defendant, who is known to airport personnel, was quickly identified through surveillance video footage by Port Authority police and contacted in regards to the swiped bag. A jury—after weighing all the evidence and hearing the testimony of the victim, John Legend—today rendered a guilty verdict in the case. The defendant now faces prison time for his actions.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Agustin Hilario, 64, of 101st Street in Corona. Following a week-long trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property. Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis, who presided at trial, set sentencing for March 12, at which time Hilario faces up to seven years in prison.

Brown said that, according to trial testimony, the GRAMMY and Academy Award-winning singer and songwriter John Legend had returned to New York City from France on Thursday, March 23, 2017, and was exiting Terminal 4 when his Louis Vuitton carry-on bag was left unattended on a luggage cart. Security footage of the terminal showed Hilario approaching the cart and pushing it away from the area before he removed the black leather bag and drove away from the airport with the luggage.

According to trial records, the District Attorney continued, Hilario was identified by a Port  Authority police officer who recognized him from the security camera footage and tried calling him on his mobile phone. When that proved unsuccessful, a police officer called a friend of the defendant’s and ultimately Hilario called back and promised to return the bag to the airport. He did not return the bag at the designated time and had to be contacted again. Upon his arrest, Hilario stated, in sum and substance, “I know I should not have taken it. I made a mistake.”

The stolen luggage contained articles of clothing, personal items and a small box of cufflinks including  a  pair of Cartier panther-head cufflinks. Legend testified in court that the cufflinks were very special to him because his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, had given him the diamond and green stone accessories as an anniversary gift and she’d spent a lot of time looking for them. He told the jury his high school mascot was a panther. He estimated the value of the cufflinks to be between $25,000 and $30,000. The Louis Vuitton bag alone is worth approximately $3,000. The defendant did ultimately return the bag and its contents to Port Authority police, who reunited Legend with his belongings.

 

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