A Fox News guest terrorism analyst was arrested after a grand jury indicted him on charges of falsely claiming to have been a CIA agent for decades, US prosecutors said.
Wayne Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, bogusly portrayed himself as having been an “outside paramilitary special operations officer” for the Central Intelligence Agency, from 1973 to 2000, the US Attorney’s Office for Virginia’s Eastern District said.
Simmons allegedly used that claim to get government security clearances and work as a defence contractor.
He was deployed overseas as an intelligence adviser to senior military officers, the statement said.
He faces charges of major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.
He has appeared on Fox News, a unit of 21st Century Fox, as a guest analyst on terrorism, since 2002, and has a wide presence among conservative groups.
Fox News spokeswoman, Carly Shanahan, said Simmons had been a guest on the network and had not been paid.
The indictment said that Simmons falsely claimed on national security forms that his previous arrests and convictions were related to his CIA work and that he had held a top-secret security clearance.
The indictment also alleged that Simmons defrauded a victim out of $125,000 through a bogus real-estate investment.
A profile said he worked in anti-narcotics operations, and, in 2004, was part of a Pentagon programme for military and intelligence analysts. He is co-author of the thriller, The Natanz Directive.
Simmons is a contributor to the conservative publication, Human Events, the profile said.
He also spoke at a 2013 forum sponsored by the Citizens Committee on Benghazi, which probed the deaths of four Americans in Libya in 2012.
The CIA said that it was working with the Justice Department on the matter. It referred queries to the US Attorney’s Office
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