Federal contractor pleads guilty after lying about ties to white supremacist group
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A New Jersey employee for a federal contractor pleaded guilty after purposefully omitting his ties to a white supremacist organization on applications for security clearance and then lying to the FBI. 

Fred Arena, 41, pleaded guilty to charges of making false statements to government agents, U.S. Attorney William McSwain announced in a news statement.

Arena was working for a federal contractor at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and needed to obtain a security clearance. When asked if Arena was ever a member of an organization that used or advocated the use of force or violence, he falsely answered "no."


Investigators discovered that Arena is actually an “avowed” member of the white supremacist group Vanguard America.

Local news outlet NJ.com reported that Arena participated in the group virtually, using the pseudonym of a dead Confederate colonel. He allegedly used the fake name to share racist memes and make threats against his exes and suspected antifa activists. 

When he was interviewed by FBI agents at the Navy Yard about his ties to the group, Arena lied under oath, according to the statement.

“Lying on federal security clearance forms and to government agents will land you in big trouble,” McSwain said in a statement. “And the nature of Arena’s deception — attempting to conceal his affiliation with a white supremacist group in order to obtain employment with a federal contractor — is extremely disturbing."

"Furthermore, no employee working for the federal government in any capacity has any business being a member of a white supremacist group or espousing white supremacist views. Employees paid with American taxpayer dollars are held to the highest standards so as to ensure their commitment to serve the public in a fair, lawful manner.”

Arena is currently in federal custody. The Hill has reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s office regarding his sentencing.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which tracks anti-Semitic and hate incidents across the country, identifies Vanguard America as a group that “opposes multiculturalism and believes America should be an exclusive white nation.”

The white supremacist group is known for posting flyers promoting its ideology at universities, with the ADL counting 32 incidents in several different states.

James Alex Fields Jr., the man serving a life sentence for murdering counter-protester Heather Heyer with his car during the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., was seen carrying a shield bearing Vanguard America’s fascist symbol, the ADL noted.  However, the group has denied he was a member.

Officials say the group claims to have about 200 members in 20 states, according to NJ.com