NJ man accused of ordering attacks on synagogues sentenced to a year in prison

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(JTA) — A New Jersey man convicted of conspiring with members of a white supremacist group to vandalize synagogues in the Midwest was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a day in prison, according to NJ.com.

Richard Tobin, 20, was charged in federal court with conspiracy against the rights of minority citizens, a charge that can carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. Tobin was accused of plotting with members of the neo-Nazi group “The Base” to vandalize properties belonging to Jewish or Black groups in 2019 when he was 18 years old.

Law enforcement officials became aware of Tobin after a number of synagogues in the Midwest were vandalized in 2019. Tobin had dubbed the plot “Kristallnacht” after the 1938 night of terror in Nazi Germany in which synagogues and Jewish businesses were destroyed and nearly one hundred Jews were murdered.

Tobin was alleged to have planned the attacks and directed other members of the group located in the Midwest on how to execute the attacks from his home in Brooklawn, New Jersey. According to the Anti-Defamation League, The Base is a neo-Nazi group that “embraces Hitlerian ideology” and “envisions a coming race war.” Tobin pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year, saying he was enraged by the site of Black shoppers at a nearby mall and felt “triggered by the state of the country.”

This story is part of JTA's coverage of New York through the New York Jewish Week. To read more stories like this, sign up for our daily New York newsletter here.

Rachael A. Honig, New Jersey’s acting U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case, celebrated the sentence in a statement.

“Richard Tobin encouraged hateful acts of violence against individuals and their houses of worship, based on their religion or the color of their skin,” Honig said in a statement, according to NJ.com.

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