A Roslyn man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing more than $4.5 million from his mother’s bank account to fund his lavish lifestyle, including a $100,000 bottle of champagne and Super Bowl box seats, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
Samuel Bernstein, 24, of Roslyn, was arraigned Thursday by District Court Judge William Hohauser for first-degree grand larceny and second-degree aggravated harassment. An order of protection was also issued for Bernstein’s mother, who has not been identified.
“This defendant is accused of pilfering his mother’s bank account for at least two years and using that money to fly on private jets and buy $100,000 bottles of champagne,” Singas said. “The victim set aside this money to support a charitable cause, but because of her son’s alleged actions more than $4.5 million was wasted on extravagant expenses.”
Bail was set at $750,000 or $650,000 cash, and Bernstein is due back in court on June 11. If convicted he faces a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
According to Singas, Bernstein also allegedly threatened via text message on Thursday to harm a law enforcement officer’s family member and to destroy his mother’s home.
Based on the Nassau County District Attorney’s office investigation, Bernstein allegedly stole $4.5 million from a personal bank account controlled by his mother to fund a charity for wheelchair-bound tennis players.
Singas said Bernstein allegedly began accessing his mother’s account electronically in June 2015, and his mother became aware of the missing funds in April of 2017 and filed a complaint in Manhattan.
Singas said the proceeds were allegedly used to pay for night clubs, hotels, private jets, Super Bowl box seats, rent and a $100,000 bottle of champagne. Bernstein also allegedly used mobile payment services such as PayPal and Venmo to transfer money to various bank accounts and obtain cash from the transfers.
Bernstein also allegedly used the funds to pay off credit card that belonged to his friends.
Reach reporter Amelia Camurati by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 215, or follow her on Twitter @acamurati.