Bernhard Laufer, 58, a resident of Rego Park, Queens, New York, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in the Eastern District of New York, to sending threatening communications from New York to an employee of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) located in Washington, D.C. CAIR is a civil rights and advocacy group with offices nationwide.

According to documents filed with the court and statements made during the guilty plea hearing, Laufer admitted that he sent threatening communications to the employee of CAIR in June 2014. These communications threatened the employee with significant bodily harm and death.

“Those who make violent threats to others because of race, religion or national origin must be held accountable,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to vigorously prosecuting those who engage in such conduct.”

Laufer faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Roy Conn of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant United States Attorney Hiral Mehta for the Eastern District of New York.