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Man behind 'Innocence of Muslims' film sentenced to one year in prison for violating probation

Mona Shafer Edwards / AFP - Getty Images file

This Sept. 27 courtroom drawing shows Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in court on probation violation charges in Los Angeles.

A California man who was behind an anti-Muslim film that spurred violent protests in the Middle East was sentenced on Wednesday to one year in prison for violating the terms of his probation stemming from a 2010 bank fraud conviction.

Mark Basseley Youssef, a 55-year-old Egyptian-American, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder after he admitted four of eight alleged violations including obtaining a fraudulent California driver's license.


Youssef served most of a 21-month prison term in the bank fraud case. Federal authorities wanted Youssef to serve two years for the violations.

A judge denied bail for the alleged producer of an anti-Muslim film that sparked Mideast outrage. He was arrested for violating probation from a bank fraud conviction. KNBC's Beverly White reports.

None of the violations had to do with the content of "Innocence of Muslims," a 13-minute film that mocks the prophet Mohammad as a religious fraud, pedophile and a womanizer. The movie sparked a torrent of violence in Libya and other parts of the Middle East, and dozens died.

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.

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