(WASHINGTON) — A former Fox News commentator who claimed to have spent decades working at the CIA has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for fraud against the government.
Wayne Shelby Simmons, 62, was sentenced on Friday and will also serve three years of supervised release, forfeit two firearms, pay back $175,612 in criminal proceeds and pay restitution to his victims. “Wayne Simmons is a fraud,” Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said in a Department of Justice press release. “Simmons has no military or intelligence background, or any skills relevant to the positions he attained through his frauds.”
“He 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 added.
Simmons pleaded guilty to the fraud charge on April 29.
Court documents indicate that Simmons defrauded the government when he obtained work as a team leader in the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain Systems program, again in 2009 with the State Department’s Worldwide Protective Service, and in 2010 when he was deployed to Afghanistan as a senior intelligence advisor on the International Security Assistance Force’s Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team. In order to obtain each of these positions and the security clearances for each, Simmons allegedly made false statements about his past, including that he had previously worked for the CIA, possessed a top secret security clearance and that his previous criminal convictions related to clandestine work.
Simmons also allegedly defrauded a victim identified only as E.L. out of $125,000.
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