Man behind anti-Muslim film sentenced to prison

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm •  Published: November 7, 2012
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Enraged Muslims had demanded severe punishment for Youssef, with a Pakistani cabinet minister even offering $100,000 to anyone who kills him.

Federal authorities initially sought a two-year sentence for Youssef but settled on a one-year term after negotiating the plea deal with Youssef's attorneys. Prosecutors said they wouldn't pursue new charges against Youssef— namely making false statements — and would drop the remaining probation-violation allegations leveled against him. But Youssef was placed on four years' probation and must be truthful about his identity and his future finances.

Seiden asked that his client be placed under home confinement, but Snyder denied that request. Youssef will spend his time behind bars at a Southern California prison.

Youssef served most of his 21-month prison sentence for using more than a dozen aliases and opening about 60 bank accounts to conduct a check fraud scheme, prosecutors said.

After he was released from prison, Youssef was barred from using computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

Federal authorities have said they believe Youssef is responsible for the film, but they haven't said whether he was the person who posted it online. He also wasn't supposed to use any name other than his true legal name without the prior written approval of his probation officer.

At least three names have been associated with Youssef since the film trailer surfaced — Sam Bacile, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Youssef. Bacile was the name attached to the YouTube account that posted the video.

"This is a defendant who has engaged in a long pattern of deception," Dugdale said. "His dishonesty goes back years."

Court documents show Youssef legally changed his name from Nakoula in 2002, though when he was tried, he identified himself as Nakoula. He wanted the name change because he believed Nakoula sounded like a girl's name, according to court documents.

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