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Wheaton Rabbi Sentenced to 4 Years for Torah Fraud

Rabbi Menachem Youlus is ordered to pay nearly $1 million in restitution to victims.

Rabbi Menachem Youlus, who managed what is now called the Jewish Bookstore of Greater Washington in Wheaton, has been sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding more than 50 people in a fake Torah scheme. Youlus pleaded guilty to fraud charges in February.

A federal judge in New York on Thursday ordered Youlus to pay $990,366.05 in restitution to his victims.

Youlus, who was called the "Jewish Indiana Jones," told fraudulent stories about discovering Torah scrolls from the Holocaust to raise $1.4 million for his Save a Torah foundation, the Washington Post reported.

Prosecutors said Youlus then diverted the money from the foundation to himself, according to the New York Times. Judge Colleen McMahon described the case as “a strange story, a sad story, an incomprehensible story.” 

Read more on the Washington Post and The New York Times websites.

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