Fox News pundit charged with fraud; ties to CIA disputed

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Wayne Simmons (right)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — 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 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.

If convicted, he could face up to 35 years in prison on charges of major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.

As recently as April, Simmons was identified on air on Fox radio as a “Fox News contributor.”

However, Fox News spokeswoman Carly Shanahan said Simmons was never more than a guest on the network and was not a paid commentator.

CNN contributed to this report.