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NY man who pilfered millions from private school was thrown out of Brian Laundrie lawyer’s office

A New York man who stole $8.4 million from the Schechter School of Long Island, a private K-12 school where he was chief financial officer, will have to pay back the money and spend the next 8 ⅓ to 25 years in prison after his sentencing on Wednesday.

David Ostrove, 52, transferred piles of cash into his own accounts over an 11-year period overseeing the school’s finances, prosecutors said in court.

He used the money to buy five waterfront houses on New York’s Fire Island and multiple vehicles, including a pristine 1965 Ford Mustang. Real estate listings show just one of the homes sold for nearly $1.3 million and rents for $13,000 a month.

Along the way, he ripped off donors and parents, burned bridges and ran afoul of a local attorney who had to kick the “belligerent” fraudster out of his office in a dispute over one of the unlawfully obtained properties.

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Ostrove frowns in mugshot with disheveled hair

David Ostrove, 52, of West Islip, New York, pictured in a booking photo for his arrest on charges of grand larceny and money laundering. Jurors found him guilty of stealing over $8.4 million from the Schechter School of Long Island, where he was chie (Handout/Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office / Fox News)

“Back when he was flushed with other people’s money, he was a pompous a–,” attorney Steven Bertolino, who represented Brian Laundrie and his parents, told Fox News Digital.

Bertolino, who focused on real estate law before representing his friends’ son Brian Laundrie in the aftermath of Gabby Petito’s murder in Wyoming, said he dealt with Ostrove on one transaction – where the convicted thief could not get his money on time and went into default.

“When he purchased the Fire Island property, I wound up throwing him out of my office because he was so obtuse and abusive,” Bertolino said. “It was COVID, and some of the people involved swore up and down how he was such a great guy. Of course, I said he wasn’t, and it’s nice to be right.”

One of Ostrove's Beach Houses on Fire Island, with a wooden gate and ramp leading up to the elevated cottage

One of the Fire Island beach houses prosecutors said David Ostrove purchased with stolen money. This five-bedroom, three-bath house is listed for rent at $13,000 a month and last sold for $1.3 million. (Google Maps / Google Maps)

According to prosecutors, Ostrove used more of the stolen money to put his daughter through college, buy sports and political memorabilia, buy designer clothing and jewelry, and to go on extravagant vacations. 

He also took out $1 million in cash, and it is not clear where that went.

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“When we allowed him to reschedule the closing, he was belligerent as to how important he was and how dare we try to hold him default,” Bertolino said.

Attorney Ralph Franco Jr. departs Suffolk County Court

Attorney Ralph Franco Jr. departs Suffolk County Court in New York on Thursday, April 17, 2024. Franco’s client, David Ostrove – a former private school CFO – received two sentences of 8 ⅓ to 25 years for grand larceny and money laundering after bein (Richard Harbus for Fox News Digital / Fox News)

Ostrove’s next move will not be back to one of his beachfront cabanas.

Instead, he is headed to state prison for money laundering and grand larceny.

“We’re disappointed with the court’s sentence,” Ostrove’s attorney Ralph Franco told reporters after the hearing. “We were hoping for something less than the max.”

Schechter School of Long Island exterior shows a large brick building with an American flag out front and a Jeep parked in the foreground

The Schechter School of Long Island, a private Jewish school in Williston Park, New York, where Ostrove was the chief financial officer. (Google Maps / Google Maps)

He had faced a maximum of 25 years behind bars.

“While David Ostrove was entrusted to manage this money to benefit the children of the Schechter School, he was secretly lining his own pockets,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said after jurors found Ostrove and his real estate shell companies guilty last month.

Attorney Steven Bertolino, right, speaks with attorney Laura Kelly.

Attorney Steven Bertolino, right, speaks with attorney Laura Kelly during arguments to dismiss a complaint against him, filed by the parents of Gabby Petito. Bertolino represented Roberta and Christopher Laundrie, the parents of Brian Laundrie, after (Mike Lang / USA TODAY NETWORK / IMAGN)

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“The jury here concluded that the defendant’s lavish lifestyle was funded using the tuition dollars of the hardworking parents of the Schechter School students and, thankfully, the jury held him accountable.”

The fraudster is also facing a $35 million civil lawsuit in which the school alleges he used a variety of schemes to steal from donors and from the institution’s bank accounts.

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