Fox News Pundit Charged With Fraud; Ties to CIA Disputed

Federal prosecutors say a Maryland man who offered national-security commentary on Fox News has been charged with fraud for falsely claiming a CIA career.

Authorities say they arrested 62-year-old Wayne Simmons of Annapolis on Thursday and charged him with fraud against the U.S. and making false statements to the government.

An indictment states Simmons lied about having a 27-year career with the CIA as an "Outside Paramilitary Special Operations'" officer. The indictment alleges that Simmons made the claim as he sought security clearances and in seeking work as a defense contractor.

A web site registered to Wayne Simmons of Beltsville, Maryland, claims Simmons was recruited out of the U.S. Navy and "spearheaded deep cover intel ops against some of the world's most dangerous drug cartels and arms smugglers from Central and South America and the Middle East."

The site also claims Simmons was "one of the first outside Intelligence officers to visit GITMO."

The site registration lists a phone number that rings to an answering service for "Wayne." No one returned a message seeking comment.

As recently as April, Simmons was identified on air on Fox radio as a "Fox News contributor." In a 2009 Fox News clip, he calls House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi "a pathological liar'" in a segment about CIA interrogation techniques.

A Fox News spokeswoman, Carly Shanahan, said Simmons was never more than a guest on the network. "He was never a paid commentator,'' she said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us