March 25, 2024

In a stunning decision, a federal judge sentenced former Chabad of Poway rabbi Yisroel Goldstein to 14 months in prison for tax and wire fraud on Tuesday, overriding prosecutors’ sentencing recommendations of house arrest and providing a measure of relief to a community still reeling from a deadly shooting at the synagogue in 2019.

Federal prosecutors had recommended a sentence of eight months of home confinement and four years probation, seeking leniency for Goldstein due to his cooperation with investigators and for his leadership following the attack. Goldstein pleaded guilty to the crimes in July 2020.

But Judge Cynthia Bashant, who has sentenced nearly a dozen defendants involved in Goldstein’s sprawling conspiracy, rejected that possibility from the outset, saying ​​she did not think home confinement adequately reflected the severity of what he did.

“You dragged so many congregants down with you,” Bashant told Goldstein. “Many of those individuals thought they were committing the offenses to help Chabad.

“But really it was just to benefit you — for your personal benefit,” she added. “And I can’t ignore that fact.”

The judge also ordered Goldstein to pay approximately $2.8…

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