WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) - Wayne Simmons, a recurring Fox News guest since 2002, claimed he had 27 years experience as a CIA officer. But federal prosecutors in Virginia Thursday alleged his experience was all a deception.
Simmons was arrested after being indicted by a federal grand jury for lying about his experience. Simmons claimed he was recruited by the CIA to become a part of the "outside paramilitary special operations group" in 1973.
In addition to the false statements, the 62-year-old was also charged with "major fraud against the U.S. and wire fraud." NBC12 Legal Analyst, Steven D. Benjamin said, "He's accused of trying to defraud the government out of an amount more than $1 million. In doing so, he made some type of misrepresentation."
Simmons also allegedly convinced a woman to make a $125,000 real estate investment with him, and then used the money for his personal needs. Prosecutors said he convinced the woman to trust him because of his fabricated CIA experience, a charge outlined in the final count of the federal indictment.
A spokesperson for Fox News told CNN Simmons was only a non-paid guest, after the news broke Thursday. In his Fox News appearances, the 62-year-old made several comments about terrorism and national security.
Simmons also discussed the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack at a public forum known as the Citizens' Commission on Benghazi. "The four men that died in Benghazi, I am that guy," he said.
The CIA said in a statement to CNN that it is now working with the Justice Department on the case. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia is handling the prosecution because the fraud allegedly took place in Virginia.
If convicted, Simmons could be sentenced up to 35 years in prison, 20 years on the wire fraud counts, 10 years on the major fraud against the U.S and five years on making false statements.
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