Long Island official charged in theft of $8.4 million from private school

Long Island official charged in theft of $8.4 million from private school

A Long Island administrator has been charged with stealing $8.4 million from the private religious school where he worked for more than a decade, using the money to buy five homes on Fire Island, a fleet of luxury and collector vehicles, pay college tuition, and a host of other personal items, according to Suffolk County prosecutors.

David Ostrove, a 51-year-old resident of West Islip, was charged Monday with grand larceny and money laundering, for allegedly stealing from the Schechter School of Long Island, a Jewish Day School where he worked as chief financial and technology officer, and director of operations, during an 11-year tenure.

“As alleged in the indictment, this defendant was trusted to oversee and safeguard the funds of this institution, however, he violated that trust and instead stole money earmarked to educate children to find his own lavish lifestyle,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement.

Prosecutors alleged Ostrove transferred a total of $8.4 million in funds from the school’s account to his own personal PayPal since 2014. Ostrove allegedly purchased five houses on Fire Island between 2018 and 2021 using a series of shell companies to conceal his identity. He was also accused of spending $1.4 million to make renovations on the Fire Island homes, and collecting a total of $600,000 in rental income on the properties, prosecutors added.

The funds were also allegedly used to purchase a 1965 Mustang, a 2021 Lincoln Navigator and two Mercedes Benz vehicles, which were registered to his wife and daughter.

Following his arrangement on Monday, Ostrove was ordered held on $500,000 cash or $2 million bond by a Long Island judge. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top charge.

Inquiries to the school were not returned. Messages left with Ostrove’s attorney were also not returned.

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