Fox News “terrorism analyst” Wayne Simmons was sentenced to 33 months in prison on Friday in U.S. District Court in Virginia after pleading guilty to fraud charges related to false claims of being a CIA officer for three decades.
Simmons started as an unpaid guest contributor to Fox in 2002, but had since defrauded the federal government on at least four occasions from 2008 to 2010, using his story of being a former “Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer” in the CIA, starting in 1973.
In 2008 and 2010, respectively, Simmons landed two separate jobs as an Army program developer and an intelligence adviser in Afghanistan.
In 2009, Simmons falsified his resume and received temporary contract work with the State Department’s Worldwide Protective Services.
In addition, Simmons defrauded the IRS by using his CIA credential to curry favor which helped reduce a tax bill that was past due by $430,000, and later scammed a lady friend out of $125,000 by convincing her to invest in a phony real estate scheme.
Despite admitting guilt on all charges in April, Simmons refused to renege on his CIA background, which caused the judge to extend his jail sentence for failing to satisfy the “acceptance and responsibility” clause of the federal sentencing guidelines.
“The claim that Mr. Simmons was a CIA operative . . . for 27 years is, if I were to use a less offensive term, buffalo chips,” said Senior Judge T.S. Ellis III at Friday’s sentencing.
Instead, evidence shows that between 1973 and 2000 Wayne Simmons had a myriad of jobs, including nightclub security guard, hot tub business manager, bookie, mortgage broker and half a season on the 1978 New Orleans Saints practice squad.
A Friday statement by U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dana Boente, indicted Simmons character, calling him “a criminal and a con man, and his fraud had the potential to endanger national security and put American lives at risk in Afghanistan.”
[Reuters] [AP] [Photo courtesy atlantico.fr]