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Son of Dead Sea Scrolls Scholar Faces Jail for Impersonating Father's Critic

(UPDATED) Appeals court affirms sentence for man who sent fake emails in order to damage other scholars' reputations.

Update (Feb. 17): The New York Times has an in-depth report on Golb's actions and sentence.

Raphael Golb, son of Dead Sea Scroll scholar Norman Golb, will head to jail as a result of his unorthodox methods of supporting his father: fraud, forgery, and harassment of another Dead Sea Scroll scholar, Lawrence Schiffman.

The case arose in 2009, when Raphael Golb created fake email accounts and a website to impersonate New York University's Schiffman, who disagreed with Norman Golb's views on the scrolls. Posing as Schiffman, Raphael Golb "espoused the views of Norman Golb and (again, as Schiffman) confessed to plagiarizing from Norman Golb."

Raphael Golb was original sentenced in 2011, when a New York jury declared him guilty on 30 of 31 charges against him. He appealed the criminal conviction, arguing that he had been attempting to parody Schiffman.

The appellate court affirmed the lower court's ruling on 29 of the 30 convictions, throwing out a charge of identity theft.

CT has previously reported on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including an examination of why Protestants are so fascinated by the documents.

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Posted:January 31, 2013 at 3:47AM
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