A rabbi who characterized himself as a “Jewish Indiana Jones” because he risked assault and imprisonment to rescue Torahs taken from Jewish communities during the Holocaust was charged Wednesday with pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his nonprofit organization, The New York Times and the Associated Press report.
Prosecutors allege Menachem Youlus, of Wheaton, Md., fabricated claims of discovering Jewish scriptural scrolls in Iraq and at the sites of Nazi concentration camps and took more than $340,000 of the $1.2-million collected by Save a Torah, a charity he co-founded in 2004.
A postal inspector who investigated Mr. Youlus’ finances said $145,000 of the money went into the rabbi’s own bank account and was used for personal expenses and private school tuition for his children.
Mr. Youlus declined to comment as he left a Manhattan federal courthouse after he was released on $100,000 bail. His lawyer denied the accusations.