Chez Gabriela Studio Not the First to Scam Celebs

Julie Ryan Evans

Chez Gabriela StudioYou'd think with all their "people," celebrities wouldn't be suckered into scams like the rest of the population, but they are. Most recent case in point: The current Chez Gabriela Studio trial in which stars like Jennifer Aniston, Anne Hathaway, and Liv Tyler were allegedly scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Maria Gabriella Perez, owner of the spa, is in court today for allegedly stealing credit card information from her clients, then racking up nearly $300,000 in charges. If convicted, she could face up to 25 years in prison.

Intuitive Aniston had a hunch about Perez long before this all broke and stopped seeing her about five years ago.

"We had a situation that was not cool so I just stopped going to her," Aniston told Good Morning America. "I knew something like this would eventually happen because there's no way you can get away with that. It's terrible."

It is terrible and frightening to think how many times a day we hand over our credit card number and other vital information, trusting people to do the right thing with it. But all too often they don't, not even when you're famous

Here are some other recent cases in which celebrities have been scammed:

  • Bernie Madoff bilked $65 billion from his high-profile clients including director Steven Spielberg and actors Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon in an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
  • Financial advisor Kenneth Starr took more than $30 million from clients including Uma Thurman, Martin Scorsese, and Annie Leibovitz.  
  • Robert De Niro and John McEnroe fell prey to an art dealer who looped them into an investment scam.
  • Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber were victims of an extortion scheme when a man threatened to release to the media a picture of their daughter who was photographed bound and gagged. The picture was taken by their nanny, allegedly during a game of cops and robbers.
  • Keifer Sutherland lost more than $800 in a cattle-based Ponzi scheme. Sutherland gave Michael Wayne Carr money to buy cattle and later sell them for a profit, but didn't ever get his cows or his money back.

Have you ever been the victim of fraud?

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