Anti-Islam Filmmaker Jailed for a Year For Unrelated Offence
The man behind the anti-Islam film, “Innocence of Muslims”, has been jailed for one year on Wednesday. This jail term is not for the film, but for breaching the terms of his probation for a previous offence.
Mark Basseley Youssef or Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (he also used the name Sam Bacile) 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 US$860 (S$1,051) from them.
From The New York Times,
Although Mr. Dugdale (the attorney) did not pursue the probation violation charges that were directly related to “Innocence of Muslims,” he spoke about Mr. Nakoula’s film project — and the deceitful manner in which he carried it out — as part of his sentencing argument.
Mr. Dugdale said Mr. Nakoula had used the alias Sam Bacile, among others, to make the movie and had tricked the cast into thinking it was making a sword-and-sandal epic about a murderous tribal leader named George. Later, using crude dubbing techniques, Mr. Nakoula secretly turned that character into the Prophet Muhammad, Mr. Dugdale said. “That’s a substantial fraud,” Mr. Dugdale said.
It was the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad as a bloodthirsty thug that sparked violence from Egypt to Pakistan in September. Cast members, at least one of whom is now suing Mr. Nakoula, have received death threats and are having trouble finding work as a result of his dubbing, Mr. Dugdale said.
“His deception actually caused real harm to people,” he said.[/box_light]