Mark Basseley Youssef ANTI ISLAM Filmmaker Sent to Jail
LOS ANGELES: The man behind the anti-Islam video which sparked widespread protests in the Muslim world was jailed for a year Wednesday for breaching the terms of his probation for a previous offense.
Mark Basseley Youssef will serve the sentence in federal prison after he admitted four allegations of using false identities, violating the terms of his probation for a bank fraud conviction in 2010.
In February 2009, a federal indictment accused Youssef and others of fraudulently obtaining the identities and Social Security numbers of customers at several Wells Fargo branches in California and withdrawing $860 from them.
He was arrested in September for eight probation violations. At a hearing last month he denied all counts, but on Wednesday he admitted to four, in return for the other four being set aside.
US District Judge Christina A. Snyder said Youssef, who has already spent five weeks in custody, must spend 12 months behind bars, followed by four years of supervised release.
Youssef was previously listed as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and known as Sam Bacile when the protests about the video emerged.
Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale said Youssef had “betrayed” the actors involved in the “Innocence of Muslims,” by not telling them he was a “recently released convicted felon.”
The Egyptian-born Coptic Christian also deceived them by dubbing anti-Islamic dialogue over their lines after the movie was shot. “He made that choice for other people,” the prosecutor said.
Such behavior was part of a “long-standing pattern of deception” by Youssef, he added.
An actress on the film, Cindy Lee Garcia, filed two lawsuits against YouTube demanding that the online video service withdraw a 14-minute clip of the film. Both were rejected, one by a local judge and another in federal court.
Garcia said she thought she signed up for a film called “Desert Warrior” about life 2,000 years ago, and only realized her lines had been over-dubbed when Muslim protests erupted in September. via