PHILADELPHIA — A man who worked for a federal contractor at the Philadelphia Navy Yard pleaded guilty in federal court to
“charges of making false statements to government agents.”
Tuesday, the FBI reported Fred Arena, 41, of Salem, N.J., had to get federal security clearance but
“lied to obtain the clearance.”
“lied to federal investigators who asked him about his answers to questions on the security clearance paperwork.”
The feds said Arena had to complete the standard Form SF-86 for his job, and that meant disclosing
“whether he had ever been a member of an organization that used (or advocated the use of) force or violence to prevent others from exercising their constitutional rights. He falsely answered that he had not. In fact, Arena was an avowed member of Vanguard America, a white supremacist group that fits that description.
“On the same application, Arena was asked whether he had property repossessed within the past seven years. He falsely answered that he had not. In fact, Arena had previously defaulted on a car loan, and his car was repossessed within the seven year window.”
According to U.S. Attorney William McSwain,
“Lying on federal security clearance forms and to government agents will land you in big trouble. …
“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.”
Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, added,
“Joining a group that espouses extremist ideology is not itself illegal — but lying to the FBI certainly is.”
Arena filled out the form on Jan. 10. He was arrested in October, and is in federal custody.
NO MUGSHOT: Federal authorities do not release pictures of people arrested, convicted, etc.