April 2, 2024

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A rabbi who was badly wounded in a deadly antisemitic attack at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Southern California was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in federal prison for running a multimillion-dollar donation fraud, authorities said.

Yisrael Goldstein, 60, also was ordered to pay about $2.8 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty in 2020 to wire and tax fraud.

“I beg for mercy to accept my repentance and allow me to right the wrongs,” Goldstein told the judge at his sentencing, the San Diego Union-Tribne reported. He asked for “the chance to do whatever I can to help others to the best of my ability.”

Prosecutors and the defense had both recommended that Goldstein receive home confinement rather than prison, citing his cooperation in the FBI’s fraud investigation and the trauma he received in the 2019 attack. Prosecutors also said Goldstein had played an exemplary role after the April 2019 shooting by speaking out for peace and religious tolerance.

However, federal Judge Cynthia Bashant said Goldstein should go to prison because he defrauded people who thought they were helping the synagogue “when in fact it was really just to benefit you,” the Union-Tribune reported.

“It was for your personal benefit and your own greed, and I can’t ignore that fact,” the judge said.

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