Wayne Simmons, who was accused of lying about a career with the CIA, has pleaded guilty to major fraud against the United States. Simmons was a regular commentator on Fox News until March of 2015, often talking about terror-related issues. He frequently claimed to be speaking from experience as an intelligence official and claimed to have sources with inside knowledge.
Here’s the twist, prosecutors say his career with the agency never happened. Simmons admitted in court that he can’t provide any evidence that he worked for the CIA but maintained his career was real.
Obviously, this guy was a deranged individual, but also obvious is that he was an extremely gifted con-man.
A Fox News guest terrorism analyst pleaded guilty on Friday to U.S. charges that he fraudulently claimed to have been a CIA agent for decades, federal prosecutors said.
Wayne Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, entered the plea in U.S. district court in Alexandria, Virginia, a Washington suburb, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
The plea came in a hearing in which Simmons changed the not-guilty plea he had made in October.
“His fraud cost the government money, could have put American lives at risk, and was an insult to the real men and women of the intelligence community who provide tireless service to this country,” said Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Simmons had appeared on Fox News, the top-ranked U.S. cable television news network, as an unpaid guest analyst on terrorism since 2002.
A grand jury indicted him in October for portraying himself as an “Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer” for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1973 to 2000.
Simmons pleaded guilty to charges of major fraud against the U.S. government, wire fraud and a firearms offense. He faces up to 40 years in prison. Sentencing is set for July 15.
Why does it take years for individuals like Simmons to get caught? Doesn’t anybody check references anymore? I’ve never heard of a security clearance granted based on only the candidates’ honor.
Simmons will be sentenced July 15. He theoretically faces up to 40 years in prison, though he would likely serve far less than that. If the judge fails to grant him credit for acceptance of responsibility because of his continuing claims of work with the CIA, it would likely add several months to his sentence under federal sentencing guidelines.
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