Wayne Simmons, Regular Fox News Guest Who Posed As CIA, Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison
Wayne Simmons totally lied about his nearly 30-year CIA career.
BY JACK HOLMES | Jul 18, 2016 | Culture
Last year, we brought you the tale of Wayne Simmons, a frequent guest on Fox News who, as it turned out, wasn't quite who he claimed to be. Despite alleging that he had 27 years' experience in the CIA—and the chyrons that referred to him as a "Former CIA Operative"—Simmons was nothing of the sort. No one seemed to realise this until Simmons took his show on the road and tried to flog his bogus background to nab himself a juicy government contract. That attracted the attention of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (impersonating an intelligence officer while dealing with the U.S. government tends to do that), and subsequently, the attention of a judge. Simmons was sentenced to three years in prison Friday on fraud charges.
In a bizarre twist, he pleaded guilty and admitted to committing fraud—but not to making up the CIA spiel. He continues to maintain, according to the AP, that he joined the agency in 1973 and participated in missions like "Operation Iranian Trust" and "Operation New England." (How you can admit to defrauding people with lies but not admit those lies were lies is another story.) There is no evidence of any of that, however, and U.S. Senior Judge T.S. Ellis III was amazed at how long Simmons was able to get away with the scheme.
"The claim that Mr. Simmons was a CIA operative, or a CIA employee ... for 27 years is, if I were to use a less offensive term, buffalo chips," he said. "It's astonishing to me how many people believed otherwise.”
Simmons apparently made the most of his jerry-rigged persona. He used it to get out of an assault charge, the AP reports. He used it to knock USD430,000 off a USD1.1 million delinquent tax bill. He used it to convince a contractor to send him to Afghanistan as an intelligence adviser, albeit for just two weeks before his clearances were revoked. And he used it to get on Fox News and spout off about how President Obama's election was "the coronation of the Boy King," and how then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was a "pathological liar."
"That should give us all pause as we listen to the news," Ellis said.
Simmons' refusal to admit his CIA background was a sham—again, despite admitting he used it to defraud people—drew the ire of the prosecuting attorneys. They took the unusual step of compiling hundreds of pages of sentencing memos to prepare for the hearing, and U.S. Attorney Dana Boente was scathing in his assessment: "[Simmons] is quite simply a criminal and a con man, and his fraud had the potential to endanger national security and put American lives at risk in Afghanistan."
Boente's appraisal has legs. Simmons also conned a friend out of USD100,000, and in those years he claims to have been with the CIA he was otherwise occupied. The court found that after a very short stint with the Navy, Simmons was a nightclub bouncer and the "manager of a rent-by-the-hour hot tub business."
From: Esquire US.