August Kreis III
|Born||August Byron Kreis III
November 2, 1954
|Occupation||Director of Aryan Nations|
Before joining radical groups, Kreis dropped out of a Newark, New Jersey high school. It was during his high school days that he became interested and active in the white supremacy movement. He served in the U.S Navy for nine months aboard a vessel off the coast of Vietnam, but was discharged early "based on a determination that he was not suited for military service." He then spent 13 years as a member of the KKK eventually becoming a leader and subsequently joined the Posse Comitatus in the late 1980s.
In 1994 and 1995 Kreis and his two daughters appeared on The Jerry Springer Show and on one episode show host Jerry Springer kicked Kreis off his show for making threats, and for calling his mother a lampshade.
In 1999 Kreis joined the Aryan Nations. After the death of Aryan Nations leader Richard Girnt Butler, in a power struggle, Kreis assumed leadership positions in the Aryan Nations, which caused a split in the organization.
Kreis is known locally for harassing neighbors and townspeople with whom he disagrees. Police have lodged numerous charges, but he has yet to be convicted of any. After a divorce from his first wife, he was barred from contacting her.
In 2005 he received media attention by seeking an Aryan Nations-al Qaeda alliance. CNN reported that "So while August Kreis may be calling, there is no sign that al Qaeda is listening." His statements raised federal concerns about violations of the law which caused the government to look closely at his activities and finances. The federal government concluded that he had no link with any terrorist organization. The government, however, in the process discovered “substantial unreported funds” going into his bank accounts with more than $33,000 in unreported income in 2005.
Even though he only spent a short time in the Navy because he served during wartime Kreis received an “improved pension” based on financial need, which is adjusted based on income. In 2009, he moved from Potter County, Pennsylvania to Lexington, South Carolina, near Union City, Tennessee.
In June 2011, Kreis was arrested in Obion County, Tennessee on "felony charges for filing fraudulent statements in an effort to obtain veterans benefits." According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, "The indictment alleges that Kreis provided false information about whether he had any income in reports that he submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs." Previously he had refused to surrender when the charges were filed. He was held in a federal detention center.
In August 2011, he pled guilty to lying to Veterans Administration officials in order to get pension money which he was not entitled to receive and he faces a possible sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. In December 2011, he was sentenced to six months in jail and will serve six months of home arrest followed by two years of probation and he will be required to pay back the nearly $193,000 of improperly received benefits.
In early 2012, he quit the Aryan Nations while in prison, passing leadership of the organization to Drew Bostwick.
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- "White Supremacist Pleads Guilty in Veterans Affairs Pension Case". FBI. 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
- "'The Last Outpost'". Southern Poverty Law Center. Spring 2001. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
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- "Racist Kids," The Jerry Springer Show, 4 Feb. 1993 and "A Racist Family", The Jerry Springer Show, 20 Feb. 1991
- "Posse leader joins Aryan World Congress," Spokane Spokesman-Review July 15, 2000
- "An unholy alliance: Aryan Nation leader reaches out to al Qaeda". CNN. 2005-03-29. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
- "White supremacist pleads guilty to Navy pension fraud". The State. Aug 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
- "Profiles: August Kreis". Southern Poverty Law Center. 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
- "Federal grand jury indicts Lexington County offenders on fraud". Lexington Chronicle. May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- "Aryan Nations leader gets fraud sentence in SC". The Sumter Daily Item. December 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
- "Aryan Nations leader sentenced for fraud in SC". Associated Press. December 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
- "From The Desk Of The AN Administration". Aryan Nations. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
- Kreis faction of Aryan Nations website
- White Supremacist Pleads Guilty in Veterans Affairs Pension Case, FBI Press Release
- Anti-Defamation League listing for Aryan Nations
- Southern Poverty Law Center article
- Anti-Defamation League article on Aryan Nations and the Internet
- Morlin, Bill (October 2, 2001), "Butler chooses Aryan successor", The Spokesman-Review