According to reports, a “former CIA agent” who frequently talked national security on Fox News was actually just an extremely talented con man with a penchant for scamming Fox News producers and government contractors alike.
It seems Simmons—a frequent Fox News guest who also wrote a book drawing on his “27 years in the CIA”—was able to parlay his claims of a career in intelligence into actual government contractor jobs abroad.
For example, the Washington Post reports, Simmons was invited to train at a U.S. Army facility after allegedly lying his way into a position as a “Human Terrain System Team Leader” for an “unnamed government contractor in 2008.” From the Post:
He won an interim security clearance for that job, prosecutors alleged, by “falsely stating that he had been recruited to the CIA in 1973, that he had not previously been charged with or convicted of a felony offense, that his prior arrests and criminal convictions were directly related to his supposed intelligence work for the CIA, and that he had held a top secret security clearance from 1973 to 2000.”
And apparently no one bothered to run a background check, because two years later he popped up in another government subcontractor job.
In that role, [prosecutors] said, he was actually deployed overseas as an adviser to senior U.S. military personnel.
And, prosecutors say, he also straight-up stole money: he’s been charged with taking a $125,000 “real estate investment” and using it for his personal expenses.