Magistrate Judge James Francis released Youlus on $100,000 bond. Youlus was given a nitroglycerin pill when he complained of chest pains after his arraignment. Youlus could get 20 years in federal prison.
As I reported yesterday, Rabbi Menachem Youlus was finally arrested for his Save-a-Torah scam:
Rabbi who likened himself to Indiana Jones busted as leading man in lucrative international scam
BY Robert Gearty • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A Baltimore rabbi was busted as the leading man in a lucrative international scam: "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Dupes."
Menachem Youlus, 50, who billed himself as the Jewish incarnation of Harrison Ford's big-screen hero, pocketed a small fortune by claiming to rescue Holocaust-era Torahs, prosecutors said Wednesday.
"His alleged exploits were no more real than those of the movie character he claimed to resemble," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Wednesday.
Youlus fabricated his tales of derring-do to solicit donations for his "Save A Torah" foundation - and then siphoned "hundreds of thousands of dollars" into personal accounts, said Bharara.
He was charged with wire and mail fraud, and faces up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors said Youlus claimed to have personally rescued one Torah in 2004 from the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp. Travel records show he left the U.S. once that year - to visit Israel.
Youlus, in another dubious claim, said he located a Torah in the floorboards of a Bergen-Belsen concentration camp barracks, feds charged.
Youlus sold the "Auschwitz" religious scrolls for $32,000 to billionaire investor David Rubenstein, described as "contributor-1" in the criminal complaint.
The complaint says Youlus tried to hit up contributor-1 for a $250,000 donation for his charity, but never got the money.
Rubenstein donated the Torah to the prominent Central Synagogue in Manhattan, and then worked with Holocaust scholars when questions were raised about its authenticity.
He then found a Holocaust-era Torah whose provenance could be proven and donated it to the synagogue as a replacement. Rubenstein declined to comment through a spokesman.
Magistrate Judge James Francis released Youlus on $100,000 bond. Youlus was given a nitroglycerin pill when he complained of chest pains after his arraignment.
Defense attorney Paul Rooney said his client had a heart attack a couple of months ago.
Fraud? Rabbi Who "Rescues" Holocaust Torahs May Be Latest Haredi Scammer
Letter from Washington: Haredi Torah 'Rescuer' Should Be Held Accountable For Scam
Deal Reached Over Haredi Holocaust Torah Claims