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Fox News "Analyst" Arrested And Charged With Lying About CIA Ties

Wayne Simmons appeared as a Fox News commentator since 2002 as a "Former CIA operative," but prosecutors allege he lied about his ties to the agency in order to get security clearances and government contracts.

Posted on October 15, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. ET

A frequent Fox News guest tagged as a "former CIA operative" was arrested Thursday and accused of lying about his ties to the clandestine agency.

Wayne Simmons claimed he was "recruited" by the CIA after joining the Navy and had led operations against drug cartels and arm smugglers in Central and South America, as well as the Middle East.

But the 62-year-old from Maryland is now facing charges of lying about his ties to the CIA and using that claim to get government security clearances and defense contracts.

Simmons is also accused of lying in national security forms about his arrest record, claiming they were connected to his work with the CIA, and lying about having a top secret clearance.

In his online biography, Simmons claims to have been part of an "Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Group" in the CIA.

According to the Department of Justice, those claims were false, and the former Fox News guest now faces federal charges of major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.

Simmons was a frequent guest on several Fox News shows. According to his online profile, he was a "Terrorism Analyst" for the network since 2002.

In his appearances, he was a frequent critic of President Obama's foreign policy, saying at one point there was a "Comedy Central air attitude in this White House."

He commented as an expert on Libya, Benghazi, and Iran, and frequently stated that water boarding was not torture.

According to the FBI, Simmons' claims at one point got him a post as an intelligence advisor to senior military personnel, which included an overseas deployment.

In his online bio, Simmons says he was part of the Pentagon Outreach Program for Military and Intelligence Analysts under former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and claims to have visited Guantanamo Bay in 2005, 2006, and 2008.

Apart from the accusations of being a faux spy, Simmons is also charged in taking part in a bogus real estate investment that cheated one person out of $125,000.

A Fox News spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News Simmons appeared in the shows as a guest, not a paid commentator.

"Simmons was not a contributor at Fox News and only appeared as a guest," she said. "He was never employed by Fox or paid by the network."

Simmons faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted of wire fraud, and 10 years if convicted of major fraud.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.