Editor's Note: Patch will be updating this story as it progresses.
The Cerritos-based filmmaker behind an anti-Muslim film that sparked deadly riots in Libya and mayhem in other countries was arrested today for allegedly violating his probation in a 2010 bank fraud case.
Specific details of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula's arrest were not released, with court documents filed under seal. But during a court hearing in downtown Los Angeles Thursday afternoon, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale said Nakoula, 55, was facing eight allegations of violating his probation, including making false statements to probation officers and using at least three different names.
Nakoula and his family have been in hiding since violence erupted in response to a YouTube trailer for his film "Innocence of Muslims," which portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and child abuser. Protests apparently ignited by the video played a role in mob violence in Libya in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Nakoula's initial appearance was held under tight security. The courtroom was closed to the public, but members of the media were allowed to view the proceeding on video in a separate building.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal ordered that Nakoula be held without bail, deeming him a flight risk and a danger to the community.
"The court has a lack of trust in this defendant," Segal said.
Nakoula will remain jailed pending a probation-revocation hearing, which will be scheduled by U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder.
Federal officials confirmed earlier this month they were investigating whether Nakoula's involvement with the film may have violated his probation. Nakoula pleaded no contest in 2010 to bank fraud charges for using phony Social Security numbers to open bank and credit card accounts, according to court documents. He was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without prior authorization.
During the court hearing, Dugdale said Nakoula's use of aliases is "part of a lengthy pattern of deception."
The prosecutor also said "there was real harm done in this case," referring to the release of the "Innocence of Muslims" film.
Dugdale said actors were "cast in this film that he made," and then the movie was transformed into a production "of a type they were not aware of."
Nakoula's attorney, Steve Seiden, argued unsuccessfully for a $10,000 bail amount for his client.
Federal probation officers have recommended that Nakoula be sentenced to two years in prison.
- Fred Shuster of City News Service
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Click here to watch Patch video of Nakoula B. Nakuola being escorted from his Cerritos residence.
Also previously on Patch:
- Nakoula Family Leaves Cerritos Home In Darkness With Plans Never to Return
- Cerritos Home Tied to Maker of Anti-Islamist Film
- WATCH: Worldwide Media Attention Prompts Cerritos Sheriff's to Monitor Controversial Filmmaker's Home
- World's Eyes Glued to Cerritos Residence as Anti-Islam Filmmaker Remains in Hiding
- Attorneys Consult With Nakoula Inside His Cerritos Home
- WATCH: Cerritos Sheriff's Deputies Escort Embattled Anti-Islam Filmmaker Out of Home Saturday
- PHOTO GALLERY: Cerritos Resident Linked to Anti-Islamic Film Leaves His Home
- Coptic Christians in the Bay Area React to Anti-Muslim Film