US investigating man linked to anti-Islam film

US probation officials are looking into potential violations of prison release terms by a California man linked to an anti-Islam film that triggered violent protests at U.S. embassies in Muslim countries, a court spokeswoman said on Friday.
Media reports have linked Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old man living in a Los Angeles suburb who served time in prison for bank fraud, to the making of the video. Clips of the film circulated on the Internet under several titles, including “Innocence of Muslims.” “The U.S. probation office in the central district of California is reviewing the case,” said Karen Redmond, spokeswoman for the administrative office of the U.S. Courts in Washington D.C., who was contacted from Los Angeles.
Nakoula, 55, who lives in the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos, pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 2010 and was sentenced to 21 months in prison, to be followed by five years on supervised probation, court documents showed. Prison records show he was released in June 2011, shortly before production began on the video. Nakoula was accused of fraudulently opening bank and credit card accounts using Social Security numbers that did not match the names on the applications, a criminal complaint showed. The film itself has been attributed to a man whose name was given as Sam Bacile, which at least two people linked to the film have said was likely an alias.
A telephone number said to belong to Sam Bacile, provided to Reuters by a Virginia man who said he was involved in promoting the film, later traced back to a person who lives at the Nakoula residence. Under the written terms of his release, Nakoula was forbidden to use the Internet or assume any aliases without approval of his probation officer. A senior law enforcement official in Washington indicated the probation investigation relates to whether he broke either or both of these conditions. Violations could result in him being sent back to prison, court records show. Two federal officials said that federal authorities were not investigating the film project itself or anyone or anything to do with its production.

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