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'Jewish Indiana Jones' admits Torah fraud

Rabbi Menachem Youlus, 50, admitted he had simply made up claims that he personally found and restored Torah scrolls in Europe and Israel.

Prosecutors also said he defrauded the charity he founded and its donors of $862,000 (£545,000).

As part of a plea deal, Youlus faces up to five years in prison.

"I know what I did was wrong, and I deeply regret my conduct," Youlus said in court on Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint, Youlus claimed to have scoured Europe in search of lost or endangered Torah scrolls - the holy Jewish text containing the Hebrew scriptures of the Old Testament.

He distributed the Torahs among American synagogues and communities, sometimes at inflated rates, and put almost one-third of the $1.2m proceeds into his personal accounts.

At a 2004 Torah dedication, Youlus wrote: "I guess you could call me the Jewish Indiana Jones," the prosecutors alleged.

He spent some of it on private school tuition for his children and on personal expenses, prosecutors said.

Youlus, who owns a Jewish bookstore in Wheaton, Maryland, told one prospective buyer that he had personally retrieved parts of a scroll from a metal box at Auschwitz.

If fact, authorities said Youlus rarely travelled abroad during the years he had claimed to go Torah-hunting.

Lawyer Benjamin Brafman said he would seek leniency at sentencing, describing Youlus as "a good man with the best of intentions who ultimately strayed into fraudulent conduct that he now accepts full responsibility for".

Source: BBC News February 3, 2012

Comments

A bit more on the legendary Auschwitz Torah:

Before Yizkor, I told the congregation the story of this Torah. The Torah was recently found in Oswiecim, the city near which the death camp of Auschwitz was located. I had learned about this city and its Jewish life from my rebbe, Rabbi Avi Weiss. He knew this town well because his father lived there till he was 16. It is likely that Rabbi Weiss’ father had actually heard this Torah being read. There was a tradition amongst the survivors of Oswiecim that two days before the Nazis came to burn down the synagogue of Oswiecim the Torahs of the synagogue were taken and buried in separate metal boxes in the Jewish cemetery. The Nazis took a perverse pleasure in destroying Sifrei Torah in terrible ways that purposefully desecrated the symbols of Jewish law.

Torah being restored by Rabbi Menachem Youlus. (Photo: Save a Torah)

Many had tried to find these Torahs and indeed, the spot where the synagogue stood was excavated but no Sifrei Torah were ever found. So Rabbi Menachem Youlus thought that perhaps the tradition told over the years was correct. Maybe there really was a Torah buried in the cemetery. He traveled to Oswiecim to check the cemetery but he did not find even one Torah. When he returned home he was despondent. But then his son told him, “Maybe the cemetery was bigger back then…” Lo and behold the original cemetery was built over and today it is just twenty-five percent of the size that it once was...

Before the Torah had been buried in the Oswiecim cemetery these four panels had been removed and smuggled through Auscwitz by four different people. As each person who had a panel was about to die they passed along the panels. Eventually the four panels made it into the hands of Zeev who guarded them as a Priest for over 60 years. Rabbi Youlus lovingly restored the Torah and made it kosher once again. He added these four panels to the entire Torah. The four panels were all selected for a good reason:

  • The first panel contained the Ten Commandments from the Book of Exodus. The Ten Commandments contain with it the word Zachor—the obligation to always remember.
  • The second panel spoke about the curses that will befall the Jewish people on the day theat God hides His face from us. These curses came true during the dark days of the Holocaust. But we know that since these curses came true, the blessings that Hashem promises us will also come true.
  • The third panel contained the section from Parshat Pinchas that spoke about korbanot—sacrifices, burnt offerings—that were offered to God.
  • The last panel contained the Shema from Deuteronomy. In that same panel was also found the Ten Commandments from Deuteronomy.

These jews were spoken about in Quran:

2:174 Those who conceal Allah's revelations in the Book, and purchase for them a miserable profit,- they swallow into themselves naught but Fire; Allah will not address them on the Day of Resurrection. Nor purify them: Grievous will be their penalty.

 

2:79 Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:"This is from Allah," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.

When will they learn? If you want to steal, swindle, rob and defraud, then do it to the GOYIM. That way, if you are caught, you are excused, and even praised. If you do it to other Jews, then you are finished. Consider Bernie Madoff.

I think there's probably more to the story somewhere. 

Is the exposure bad for Jews?  Yes.  Therefore it shouldn't have happened according to their rules

Them legendary Torahs were fine fodder for the group Holocaust psychosis, especially in these trying times of increasing "denial."

So, the Rabbi made a nice profit from some much wealthier members of the crime gang; think of it as in-house charity.

I remember DBS-Rafeeq discussing the Madoff scam and Rafeeq saying that by his confession Madoff had precluded a proper investigation.  Lots of real questions killed in one blow.  There was also reference somewhere to Madoff's victims being eligible for some gov't payout.

Here's a bit on that:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Madoff victims might finally get their hands on their stolen billions.

By Aaron Smith, staff writerJanuary 13, 2011

The court-appointed trustee trying to recover Madoff's loot has brought dozens of lawsuits but so far hasn't been able to compensate victims. That might soon change. A court hearing is set for Jan. 13 that could unlock more than one-third of the $20 billion in stolen money.

Mystery of Madoff's rapid confession

The probable explanation is that Madoff hopes to take the bullet for his family and colleagues. Peter Henning, a former fraud prosecutor turned law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, says: "I think he's protecting his family. Any plea deal would definitely have required him to implicate others."

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