He's not under arrest. However, he is being questioned as he may well have broken some probation violations-this guy has quite a rap sheet.
"A Southern California filmmaker linked to an anti-Islamic movie blamed at least in part for sparking protests across the Middle East was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff’s station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday."
"Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, was interviewed at the station in his hometown of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Walker said.
"Federal officials have said they were investigating the activities of Nakoula, who has been convicted of financial crimes. If the probation department determines Nakoula violated terms of his release by uploading a video to the Internet, a judge could send him back to prison."
"The federal probation department is reviewing the case of Nakoula, who was previously convicted on bank fraud charges and was banned from using computers or the Internet as part of his sentence. The review is aimed at learning whether Nakoula violated the terms of his five-year probation."
Seems like he certainly violated the ban on the Internet and computer use. Nevertheless, evidently it may be hard to establish this against Nakoula:
"It could be difficult to establish a probation violation case against Nakoula. In the federal court system, the conditions of supervised release are geared toward the offense for which a defendant was found guilty and imprisoned."
"In Nakoula’s case, the offense was bank fraud. His no contest plea was to charges of setting up fraudulent bank accounts using stolen identities and Social Security numbers, depositing checks from those accounts into other phony accounts and then withdrawing the illicit funds from ATM machines."
"While it was unclear what might have provoked authorities’ interest, the filmmaker’s use of a false identity and his access to the Internet through computers could be at issue, according to experts in cyber law and the federal probation system. Nakoula, who told the AP that he was logistics manager for the film, was under requirements to provide authorities with records of all his bank and business accounts."
"The probation order authorized in June 2010 warned Nakoula against using false identities. Nakoula was told not to “use, for any purpose or in any manner, any name other than his/her true legal name or names without the prior written approval of the Probation Officer.”
I'm not really sure why it should be so hard-are they saying it's not a violation as he used the Internet not to commit bank fraud but to deliberately stoke a Holy War that has left our Ambassador to Libya and other diplomats dead? Does this really exonerate him? And of course he has been using a fake name, Sam Bacil.
On the other hand, I don't think it's tough to figure out why the Feds are interested: his film just started a Holy War that have lead to a number of deaths.
Turns out not only does he have a long history of criminal activity, he also may have a history in soft porn.
"The director of the anti-Muslim film blamed for violence and protests in the Middle East this week once directed softcore porn and other low-budget films, according to Gawker."
"In 2009 and 2011 casting calls for the film, now known as “Innocence of Muslims” but back then called “Desert Warrior,” the director on the project was listed as Alan Roberts. An IMDB page for an Alan Roberts credits him with directing films including 1972’s “The Sexpert,” 1980’s “The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood” and 1991’s “Karate Cop.”
"David A. Prior, who worked with Roberts on low profile films in 2007 and 2008, told Gawker that Roberts had spoken to him about “Desert Warrior.”
“I am sure it was the same Alan Roberts, as I remember him speaking about this project,” Prior said in an email.
"On Wednesday, CNN obtained a statement that purported to be from the entire cast and crew of “Innocence of Muslims,” stating that, “[w]e are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose.”
Of course, a prerequisite for being in soft porn is often to use fake names.