Former Fox News commentator sentenced to prison for faking CIA ties

By REUTERS
July 15, 2016 19:26
1 minute read.

 
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WASHINGTON - A man who has appeared on Fox News as a guest "terrorism analyst" was sentenced to 33 months in prison on Friday on charges that he fraudulently claimed to have been a CIA agent for decades, US prosecutors said.

Wayne Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, was sentenced in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, the US Attorney's Office said in a statement.

"Wayne Simmons is a fraud. Simmons has no military or intelligence background, or any skills relevant to the positions he attained through his fraud," said Dana Boente, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

US District Judge T.S. Ellis III also sentenced Simmons to serve three years of supervised release, to forfeit two firearms and $176,000 in criminal proceeds and to pay restitution.

Simmons had appeared on Fox News, a unit of 21st Century Fox and the top-ranked US 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.

Instead of working for the CIA, Simmons' jobs during that period included nightclub doorman, bookie, manager of a rent-by-the-hour hot tub business, mortgage broker and defensive back for the National Football League's New Orleans Saints, the statement said.

A Fox News spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment. Simmons' lawyer, William Cummings, said he and his client had hoped for a lighter sentence.

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