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Press Release

Man pleads guilty to hate crime that involved antisemitic threats to neighbors, breaking their window

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Columbus man pleaded guilty in federal court to criminally interfering with the right to fair housing. The charges stem from antisemitic threats the defendant made to his neighbors.

According to court documents, Douglas G. Schifer, 66, threatened neighbors and their guests because of their religion during an outdoor gathering at the neighbors’ residence on Nov. 7, 2020.

Plea documents detail that Schifer stated in part, “all you f***ing people, it’s no wonder Hitler burned you people in ovens, “f***ing Hitler should have gassed you,” and “Jews burn, you belong in ovens.”

Plea documents say that Schifer also said to the neighbors, “f***ing dog” and “I will poison your dog if it comes back to the fence.” Schifer admitted to threatening to shoot the neighbors and their dog, and to “burn to the ground” a garage the neighbors were remodeling into an apartment.

Schifer shouted other antisemitic slurs, obscenities and other derogatory language about their religion at his neighbors and their guests on Nov. 7, 2020. He also broke one of their windows and spat on one of the neighbors. He also made reference to gassing Jewish people, chopping them up, and burning them in ovens.

Schifer was charged by a federal criminal complaint in March. Schifer faces up to one year in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000.

Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant announced the plea entered into on Monday, June 28 before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. Assistant United States Attorney Peter K. Glenn-Applegate, Senior Litigation Counsel Heather A. Hill, and Trial Attorney Cameron Bell of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are representing the United States in this case.

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Updated June 29, 2021