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Thread: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

  1. #1
    okosh's Avatar
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    Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    Rabbi Admits Holocaust Torah Fraud, Pleads Guilty

    Duped investors into believing he found scrolls at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen Holocaust camps

    Robert Gearty AND Tracy Connor • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    A rabbi who proclaimed himself the “Jewish Indiana Jones” admitted Thursday he was really the villain in a made-for-Hollywood swindle.

    Menachem Youlus, a Baltimore bookstore owner, pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to spinning a web of lies that snared a billionaire philanthropist.

    He faces up to five years in prison for creating a bogus charity built on fictional tales of rescuing Holocaust-era Torahs, selling forgeries and pocketing the dough.


    “I know what I did was wrong and I deeply regret my conduct,” Youlus said in court.

    His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said the plea deal “ends an agonizing voyage by a good man with the best of intentions who ultimately strayed into fraudulent conduct.”

    Prosecutors had charged Youlus, 50, with weaving fantastical tales of international derring-do to impress donors to his charity.

    He claimed to have used a metal detector to unearth a metal box with Torah scrolls on the grounds of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

    He sold the supposed relic to investor David Rubenstein, who donated them to the Central Synagogue in Manhattan, and tried to soak him for a $250,000 donation, court papers say.

    Youlus also convinced a buyer that he found a Torah at the Bergen-Belsen camp by telling a ridiculous account of stumbling onto a hole in the corner of the floorboards.

    He used the money to pay private school tuition bills for his kids and to make personal investments.

    As part of his plea agreement, he will repay his victims $1.2 million. He is free on $100,000 bond until his June 21 sentencing.

    U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara noted that Youlus had “exploited the profound emotions attached to one of the most painful chapters in world history — the Holocaust — in order to make a profit.


    “Today’s guilty plea is a fitting conclusion to his story and he will now be punished for his brazen fraud.”
    Rabbi *Menachem Youlus admits to Torah scam and faces jail - NY Daily News
    ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

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    Finix is offline Banned
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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    What's with the thread title? Shouldn't it be "Rabbi Menachem Youlus, total fraud"?

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said the plea deal “ends an agonizing voyage by a good man with the best of intentions who ultimately strayed into fraudulent conduct.”
    Only a lawyer could put that sort of spin on a story like this one.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    Quote Originally Posted by littleroundman View Post
    Only a lawyer could put that sort of spin on a story like this one.
    Yeah, like the defendant in an assault case telling the judge, "It was all a horrible accident, your honor. The guy came running around the corner, right into my knife.....twelve times...!"
    It seems like in this "industry" common sense is not all that common!

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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    Quote Originally Posted by littleroundman View Post
    Only a lawyer could put that sort of spin on a story like this one.
    His lawyer is almost as bad as he is...."The best of intentions" my arse.....His intent was to defraud people through his lies on a very touchy and emotional part of our history.
    ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    The charity that this scammer set up is called "Save a Torah".....Address is Maryland USA....

    Below is a copy of what their home page said b4 he pled guilty....

    STATEMENT FROM SAVE A TORAH, INC.

    Since the investigation began, Save A Torah, Inc., and its representatives have produced documents
    requested by the government, have volunteered for interviews conducted by the United States Attorney,
    and have testified without invoking any privilege. We are saddened that charges have been filed against
    Menachem Youlus and trust that this matter will end with a just resolution.

    Menachem Youlus has resigned from the Board and from all other association with Save A Torah, Inc.
    This is how their website looks now....
    http://www.saveatorah.org/

    STATEMENT FROM SAVE A TORAH, INC.



    We have been saddened to learn over the last several months that we at Save A Torah, and our donors and friends, were misled by an individual whom we trusted. We believe that the step that Rabbi Youlus took by accepting responsibility for his actions is an important step in putting this unfortunate episode behind us.



    Save A Torah was launched with the noble goal of rescuing Torahs that survived the Holocaust or were forcibly taken from Jewish communities and placing them again in Jewish communities where they could be used and treasured. We deeply appreciate the support that we continue to receive from our friends and the greater Jewish community and are evaluating how best to continue our mission.
    ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

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    littleroundman is offline Administrator
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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    through his lies on a very touchy and emotional part of our history.
    That's an understatement if I ever saw one.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    okosh's Avatar
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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    It's easy to see why people fell for his scam since a Torah that was really found buried under a basement in Carlsbad in the Czech Republic was rededicated in Jan 2010.....

    Here is the bit I find strange.....

    He sold the supposed relic to investor David Rubenstein, who donated them to the Central Synagogue in Manhattan, and tried to soak him for a $250,000 donation, court papers say.
    Finding a customer to buy it would be easy....But where did he get the relic from??....It's not like you can just go out and buy one in a store.....They are hand written with a quill on parchment and take about a year and a half to write the more then 300,000 letters....And there are not that many people around who actually can write it for you...
    Even then he'd have to make it look old.....I'm guessing the one he sold was stolen....
    ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    Quote Originally Posted by okosh View Post
    And there are not that many people around who actually can write it for you...
    There are none who would willingly agree to falsify one for you.

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    Re: Holocaust Torah Fraud.....

    On Thursday U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon sentenced Rabbi Menachem Youlus to 51 months in federal prison. The maximum sentence recommended under the US Sentencing Commission’s guidelines.
    ʎɐqǝ uo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ı ǝɯıʇ ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ

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