The former director of a La Jolla synagogue admits he stole thousands of dollars that he spent on vacations and furniture among other things.
Eric Levine pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to embezzling $394,000 over five years from Congregation Beth El.
Levine worked with the synagogue from July 2007 to December 2013, overseeing an annual budget of nearly $2 million.
He admitted that he started embezzling funds from the synagogue's credit card and bank accounts six years ago.
Prosecutors said Levine created fake budget categories to hide the theft. He used names like “High Holidays” or “Purim Baskets.”
Instead, prosecutors say the money was spent on trips to Mexico, Las Vegas, Hawaii and Canada, a $1,400 personal trainer bill, BBQ equipment and private school tuition for his children.
As part of his plea, he must repay the synagogue. Levine will be sentenced on June 27.