Cable news pundit charged with fraud; ties to CIA disputed

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — 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.

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 and that the reference to him on air as “Fox News contributor” was an error. “He was never a paid commentator,” she said.

At an initial appearance Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Simmons was ordered held pending a detention hearing Friday. No lawyer has yet entered an appearance on his behalf.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 15

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, June 13, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Bill Thomas, a former Republican state representative from Haines, announced Friday he is dropping out of the race for the District 3 House seat this fall. (U.S. Sustainability Alliance photo)
Bill Thomas drops out of District 3 House race, says there isn’t time for fishing and campaigning

Haines Republican cites rough start to commercial season; incumbent Andi Story now unopposed.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, speaks at the Alaska Democratic Party’s state convention on May 18 at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Peltola among few Democrats to vote for annual defense bill loaded with GOP ‘culture war’ amendments

Alaska congresswoman expresses confidence “poison pills” will be removed from final legislation.

A celebratory sign stands outside Goldbelt Inc.’s new building during the Alaska Native Regional Corporation’s 50th-anniversary celebration on Jan. 4. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Medical company sues Goldbelt for at least $30M in contract dispute involving COVID-19 vaccine needles

Company says it was stuck with massive stock of useless needles due to improper specs from Goldbelt.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, June 12, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

A yearling black bear waits for its mother to return. Most likely she won’t. This time of year juvenile bears are separated, sometimes forcibly, by their mothers as families break up during mating season. (Photo courtesy K. McGuire)
Bearing witness: Young bears get the boot from mom

With mating season for adults underway, juveniles seek out easy food sources in neighborhoods.

A chart shows COVID-19 pathogen levels at the Mendenhall wastewater treatment plant during the past three months. (Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Wastewater Surveillance System)
Juneau seeing another increase in COVID-19 cases, but a scarcity of self-test kits

SEARHC, Juneau Drug have limited kits; other locations expect more by Saturday.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks to reporters during a news conference Feb. 7. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy picks second ex-talk radio host for lucrative fish job after first rejected

Rick Green will serve at least through Legislature’s next confirmation votes in the spring of 2025.

Most Read