A Long Island man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly stealing more than $4.5 million from his own mother’s bank account in order to fund a luxurious lifestyle that included a $100,000 bottle of champagne, excursions including private jets, and Super Bowl tickets.
According to the district attorney, 24-year-old Samuel Bernstein, of Roslyn, stole the money over at least a two-year period through an account that his mother controlled. The mother reportedly used the account to fund a charity that supported wheelchair tennis players, and didn’t become aware of the alleged theft until April 2017.
“This defendant is accused of pilfering his mother’s bank account for at least two years,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a press release. “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.”
The suspect allegedly gained electronic access to the account from June 2015 to June 2017, according to Singas, who revealed via the press release that Bernstein used the money to fund such things as “Private jets, Super Bowl box seats, hotel stays, night club visits, and a $100,000 bottle of champagne.”
Further, authorities said Bernstein subsequently sent a text message Thursday threatening to harm a law enforcement officer’s family and and to destroy his mother’s home.
Bernstein was arraigned Thursday before District Court Judge William Hohauser on charges of first-degree grand larceny and second-degree aggravated harassment.
Hohauser set the alleged thief’s bail at $750,000. He is due back in court June 11, and an order of protection has been issued for the man’s mother.
If convicted, Bernstein faces a maximum sentence of 8 ⅓ to 25 years in prison.