Nearly one year after singer John Legend’s prized $ 30,000 Cartier cufflinks got lifted, a Queens man was convicted Tuesday of brazenly stealing the bling at JFK Airport.
Agustin Hilario, 64, was found guilty of criminal possession of stolen property after a week-long trial where 10-time Grammy winner Legend testified against him.
“The defendant, who is known to airport personnel, was quickly identified through surveillance video by Port Authority Police,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Hilario, who faces up to seven years in prison at his March 12 sentencing, was not inside his Queens home Tuesday evening to comment on the jury verdict.
Port Authorities police were able to reunite Legend with his luggage, including the pricey panther-head cufflinks — a special anniversary gift from his wife, model Chrissy Teigen.
Legend, co-winner with Common of the 2015 best original song Oscar for “Glory” from the movie “Selma,” testified the mascot of his high school was a panther.
The chart-topping Legend, whose hits include “Get Lifted” and “All of Me,” was flying in from France on March 23, 2017, carrying a Louis Vuitton bag with the cufflinks inside.
The carry-on luggage was left unwatched on an airport cart in Terminal 4 when Hilario — unaware of the nearby video camera — sprang into action, authorities said.
The security footage captured the suspect pushing the cart away, grabbing the black leather designer bag and driving off from the airport with the luggage.
The suspect, a livery cab driver who was barred from picking up fares at the Queens airport, was well known to cops working at the airport.
A Port Authority police officer recognized Hilario from the video footage, according to Brown. The cop then tracked the suspect down through a friend, and a deal was arranged for the suspect to arrive at the airport with the bag at a set time.
Hilario then blew off the meeting before he was contacted a second time and arrested.
“I know I should not have taken it,” he told police. “I made a mistake. There could have been a bomb in there.”
In addition to the jewelry, the bag itself was worth $ 3,000 and there was another $ 500 of clothing and a $ 500 pair of glasses.
Brown said the jury came back with its verdict after “weighing all the evidence and hearing the testimony of the victim, John Legend.”
Legend, 39, recently co-starred in the hit movie “La La Land.”