Roslyn man sentenced for stealing $4.5M from mother’s charity bank account

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Samuel Bernstein, 24, of Roslyn, was charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing more than $4.5 million from his mother's bank account. (Photo courtesy of Nassau County District Attorney)
Samuel Bernstein, 24, of Roslyn, was charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing more than $4.5 million from his mother's bank account. (Photo courtesy of Nassau County District Attorney)

A Roslyn man has been sentenced to three to nine years in prison for stealing more than $4.5 million from his mother on Thursday.

Prosecutors said the money was used to “fund a lavish lifestyle” that included a $100,000 bottle of champagne, private jets, football tickets and other expenses.

Samuel Bernstein, 24, had pleaded guilty on Aug. 29 to grand larceny in the second degree. He originally faced charges of first-degree grand larceny and second-degree aggravated harassment, with a maximum possible sentence of 25 years in prison.

“This defendant stole more than $4 million from his mother, and used it to fund a lavish lifestyle that included private jets, night clubs, hotels and more,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “Crimes that victimize family members betray the most fundamental trust and this defendant will pay with the loss of his liberty.”

Bernstein stole more than $4.5 million from his mother’s account, which had been used for funding a charity for wheelchair-bound tennis players, between June 2015 and June 2017, according to prosecutors.

The stolen money was then used for nightclubs, hotels, private jets, Super Bowl Tickets, a $100,000 bottle of champagne, and to pay off credit cards for himself and his friends, prosecutors said.

Through the help of mobile payment services, prosecutors said that Bernstein transferred money to multiple accounts and get cash after the transfers.

“The victim set aside this money to support a charitable cause,” Singas previously said, “but because of her son’s alleged actions more than $4.5 million was wasted on extravagant expenses.”

The mother first became aware of the theft in April 2017, prosecutors said, and the investigation started after she formally filed a complaint in Manhattan. The case was then referred to the Nassau County DA’s office.

William Shanahan, Bernstein’s Mineola-based attorney, was not immediately available for comment.

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