Rabbi Menachem Youlus, known as ‘the Jewish Indiana Jones', was sentenced to 51 months in prison for fraud in a Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
Rabbi Youlus, father of nine from Maryland, was charged with pocketing $1.2 million from donations that had been made to his charity ‘Save the Torah’.
Since 2004, when the charity was founded, Rabbi Youlus told donors he travelled to Europe to recover old Torah scrolls that had survived the Holocaust. Prosecutors proved, however, that many of the articles found came from US dealers and were sold to synagogues by Rabbi Youlus at inflated prices.
"I will carry that shame and dishonour with me for the rest of my life...I know I have lifetime of atonement ahead of me," Rabbi Youlus said.
Judge Colleen McMahon of the US District Court of Southern New York gave the punishment.