A Queens man is facing 7 years in prison after being convicted of stealing musician John Legend’s Louis Vuitton bag from Kennedy Airport in March 2017.
Agustin Hilario, 64, of 101st Street, Corona, was found guilty of third-degree criminal possession of stolen property Tuesday after a weeklong trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
According to records, Port Authority police said Legend had just arrived from France on March 23 when his luggage, a Louis Vuitton bag valued at about $3,000, was stolen from a luggage cart. The bag contained clothes and other personal items — including a pair of Cartier panther-head cuff links valued at $25,000.
The Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer-songwriter-actor, slated to play the role of Jesus in a 2018 TV movie redux of “Jesus Christ Superstar Live,” testified in court that the diamond cuff links had been an anniversary gift from his wife, model Chrissy Teigen. He said Teigen bought the cuff links because a panther was the mascot for his high school — Springfield North in Ohio.
Authorities said Hilario was seen on surveillance camera footage taken at Terminal 4 “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.”
A Port Authority officer recognized Hilario from that security footage because he was known to frequent the airport and, according to Brown, that officer tried to call the Queens man on his mobile phone — but was unsuccessful reaching him.
The officer then called “a friend of the defendant’s,” Brown said, and Hilario promised to return the bag to the airport.
But, Brown said, Hilario did not return the bag at the agreed-upon time and was subsequently arrested.
During his arrest, Brown said in a statement Tuesday, Hilario said: “I know I should not have taken it. I made a mistake.”
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for March 12.