COLUMBUS, Ohio – A former Columbus man was sentenced today in federal court to six months in prison, a $50,000 fine and one year of supervised release for criminally interfering with the right to fair housing. His charges stemmed from antisemitic threats the defendant made to his neighbors.
Douglas G. Schifer, 66, of Bucyrus, Ohio, threatened neighbors and their guests because of their religion during an outdoor gathering at the neighbors’ residence on Nov. 7, 2020.
Schifer was charged by a federal criminal complaint in March and pleaded guilty in June to interfering with the right to fair housing.
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.”
Court 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.
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 at one of the neighbors. He also made reference to gassing Jewish people, chopping them up, and burning them in ovens.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Preston Deavers. 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.