Michoel Streicher, a 50-year-old mentally ill Orthodox cantor who was popular (in certain circles) in the 1990s and calls himself “The Michael Jackson of Jewish music,” was sentenced yesterday to one to three years in prison for stealing $36,000 from a fan, according to the Daily News.
The victim, 55-year-old Judy Burstein, gave Streicher the cash after he’d led her to believe he was a rabbi who would use it to purchase a special Torah for her home.
The article says that Streicher was forced to return the money at his sentencing hearing.
His lawyer, Eric Franz, said Streicher, who has 11 children, suffers from “severe” psychological problems and asked the judge to spare him jail time.
Franz defended his client’s claim of being a rabbi to The NY Post: “He just doesn’t have a congregation. That doesn’t mean he’s posing.”
As for Streicher’s intention to use the money to buy the coolest Torah ever: no comment.