Wayne Shelby Simmons, 62, who presented himself as a national security expert on Fox “News,” was sentenced Friday to nearly three years in prison on multiple fraud charges, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. Simmons claimed to have been a CIA agent for decades and that lie benefited him financially.
The Daily News reports:
It helped him get contracting work. It allowed him to knock more than $400,000 off a delinquent tax bill. And it helped him get on cable news as a pundit and commentator.
“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, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Simmons was often referred on Fox News as a “former CIA operative.” Simmons pleaded guilty to “major fraud against the government, wire fraud and a firearms offense” in April.
The Washington Times reports:
Prosecutors said that Simmons defrauded the government by lying about his experience in order to obtain two defense contractor jobs in Afghanistan. He also pleaded guilty to defrauding a woman of $125,000 that he claimed would be put toward a real estate investment. Prosecutors said he earned the woman’s trust through claims he was a former CIA agent and lied about his involvement in the real estate business to convince the woman to wire him the money for an investment. In fact, no investment was ever made and Simmons used the funds for personal expenses.
In addition to the 33 months in prison, Simmons was also sentenced to three years supervised release, to forfeit more than $175,000 in criminal proceeds and to pay restitution to the victims.
Simmons used his fraudulent claims to attack the Obama administration over the Benghazi attack. He was a member of Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) “Citizens’ Commission” on Benghazi. Seriously. The AIM is part of the conservative media’s successful push to get House Republicans to set up a panel to investigate the Benghazi attack. Due to that, Simmons began appearing on Fox “News” to claim the Obama administration decided “to not rescue our former CIA operatives and our military” in Libya. From there, Fox “News” continued its attacks on the Obama administration, including Hillary Clinton, to push the big Benghazi lie.
In 2009, Simmons called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “a pathological liar” in a segment about CIA interrogation techniques.
Boente said in a statement Friday that 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.”
We could say that about Fox “News” in general. The network failed to vet their own “security expert.” He received a light sentence for a felon who put our national security at risk.
Featured image via screen capture