Temple Embezzler Gets 18 Months

SAN DIEGO (CN) – An officer who embezzled $540,000 from a La Jolla synagogue was sentenced Friday to 18 months in federal prison.
     Eric S. Levine, 37, filched the money from Congregation Beth El while he was its executive director, from July 2007 to December 2013, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
     He admitted swiping $394,873, but prosecutors said the toll actually exceeded $540,000. He hid the thefts by creating bogus bookkeeping entries, such as “Ritual Fund, “Rabbi Emeritus,” and “High Holidays,” the U.S. attorney said.
     He spent the money on trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Las Vegas and Canada, a $1,400-a-month personal trainer, “fancy jewelry,” sending his kids to private school and other fripperies, prosecutors said.
     U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw also ordered Levine to pay $543,000 in restitution.

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