(WGHP) — Members of a right-wing extremist group have filed a federal lawsuit, claiming an “antifa” member infiltrated their group with the intention of doxxing members.
A lawsuit filed in the Western District of Washington on July 25, accuses a man purported to be an antifascist activist of using a false identity to infiltrate the neo-Nazi group in 2021 and leaking sensitive information about the group on the internet, causing loss of jobs and forcing some of them to move.
The plaintiffs in the case, described in the document as members of or affiliated with Patriot Front, are listed as Paul Gancarz, Daniel Turetchi, Colton Brown, James Johnson and Amelia Johnson. They are suing David Alan Capito II, aka Vyacheslav Arkangelskiy, alleging that he misrepresented himself to gain access to Patriot Front, revealing members’ identities publicly and negatively impacting their lives. Capito is described in the filing to be a “radical antifa activist” and member of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, an organization described as an “anti-fascist, anti-racist, pro-worker community defense organization.”
“At a deeper level, this complaint seeks to vindicate the rule of law and basic principles of free expression for persons who espouse unpopular opinions,” the suit reads.
The suit describes Patriot Front as an organization that engages in provocative but nonviolent activism to push forward their mission of reforging “… our people, born to this nation of our European race … as a new collective capable of asserting our right to cultural independence.”
The SPLC describes them as a white nationalist group that splintered off from a different nationalist group in the wake of the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, stating that they “rehabilitated” the explicitly fascist agenda of Vanguard America with “garish patriotism.”
Over 30 members of Patriot Front were arrested in the summer of 2022, with several members ultimately convicted, after bringing a U-Haul full of weapons to an Idaho park hosting a Pride Month celebration.
Data from the ADL shows that Patriot Front has a large footprint in North Carolina, with over 370 reported incidents involving the white nationalist group over the past few years.
In addition to allegations that Capito infiltrated the group using a false identity, the suit alleges that Capito, working with others, gained “unauthorized access” to confidential information about members from computer databases.
The plaintiffs allege that Capito worked with Distributed Denial of Secrets, Inc., a hacker collective that the lawsuit later describes as a “group of anarchist hackers who were responsible for major security breaches targeting right-wing websites.”
Distributed Denial of Secrets describes itself as a “non-profit devoted to enabling the free transmission of data in the public interest. We publish and archive leaks.” They were credited for leaking a database of Oath Keeper membership, which resulted in numerous elected officials and law enforcement agencies being named as due-paying members of the militia group.
The Patriot Front complainants claim that Capito’s efforts to dox them resulted in them losing their jobs or being forced to move homes.
Gancarz, a resident of Virginia, allegedly lost his job as a result of his membership with Patriot Front being publically shared. His workplace supposedly received harassing phone calls, and he was terminated despite claims of being a “competent, reliable, and loyal employee who got along well with the other employees.”
They claim the same pattern of behavior impacted Turetchi, of Pennsylvania, who was discharged from the real estate brokerage he worked for.
Brown, of Utah, lost his position as an electrician’s assistant and was made to move out of his parent’s home after people allegedly trespassed and took pictures of the property, harassing both Brown’s workplace and his family, according to the suit.
James and Amelia Johnson, of Washington, both lost jobs and allegedly hundreds of hostile flyers were put around the Johnsons’ home, forcing them to relocate out of their neighborhood and for James Johnson to lose standing with his HVAC workers union, resulting in him making less money.
The lawsuit claims that Capito violated the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, that he accessed a “protected computer” and illegally accessed information through it, violating their “private affairs” due to the members’ “reasonable expectation” that their membership to Patriot Front would remain anonymous. They also state that he leveraged his work as a photographer to photograph Patriot Front events and also surreptitiously photograph personal, identifying details like license plate numbers.
“This intrusion would be highly offensive to any reasonable person who held unusual or unpopular opinions that were often misinterpreted or distorted by the general public and mainstream media and subjected the person to potential threats, harassment, and loss of vocation,” the lawsuit reads.
“Capito violated this privacy by giving publicity to Plaintiffs’ Patriot Front membership and related information, especially given that Capito arranged for this information to be widely disseminated through the cooperation and assistance of DDOS and Unicorn Riot.”
The lawsuit goes on to say that “there is no legitimate public interest that could excuse or justify
Capito’s use of unlawful and criminal actions, such as violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, to infiltrate and expose the persons such as Plaintiffs to persecution, including threats, harassment, and loss of vocation, based on those persons’ unpopular ideology.”
Free Expression Foundation states that they are assisting on the case against Capito.
“Thanks to the efforts of the FEF and its network of attorneys, these victims aim to recover their losses and send a message to Mr. Capito and other radical agitators.”
On a Telegram channel for fans of the American Futurist Network, a member opined on the FEF article, noting that the type of infiltration and doxxing alleged in the lawsuit is not a problem unique to Patriot Front but comes from a lack of scrutiny of people asking to join.
According to the commenter, there was never a similar infiltration on Iron March, a defunct Neo-Nazi forum that has been connected to several men accused of plotting to destroy electrical infrastructure, due to the imposition of ideology tests.
“That’s one thing antifa can never do is have a full conversation about ideological matters. They have no understanding of Fascism,” the commenter writes.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are seeking financial and punitive damages from Capito.