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Fake Cia Spy: Gotcha

Wayne Simmons mug shot
Wayne Simmons
Wayne Simmons
Wayne Simmons, arrested in Virginia for impersonating a CIA officer and more felonies. Photo from Facebook account. | Wayne Simmons, Stolen Valor, Army, Cia, Fraud, Arrested, Central Intelligence Agency,

The absurdity of Wayne Simmons

Miles Copeland and I were engaged in our usual DC sculduggery when, a few years ago, we met and had lunch with Wayne Simmons in a hotel near the White House. Simmons, explained he was an "Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer" for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1973 to 2000 and now an unpaid terrorism analyst on top-ranked news channels for a decade. This was of interest to Miles and I for a project we were working on.

We had never met Wayne Simmons however we had seen him on television and he'd made an effort to communicate with us with regard to this project. As part of our habitual vetting behavior when it comes to shadowy folks, we had a chat with one of my good pals, and former CIA officer, Kent Clizbe.

Stolen Valor


Kent burst a blood vessel when he heard we were so much as speaking to Simmons. Clizbe met Simmons in 2010. When they met, Clizbe said that Simmons bragged about his work busting drug cartels, but he was short on details. "Within a couple of minutes, I knew he was a fraud," Clizbe says. "You can't bullshit a bullshitter." The resourceful Clizbe had taken personal interest in the issue of Wayne Simmons impersonating a CIA officer and creating a case of "Stolen Valor" that was more heinous than the furious Clizbe could bear. After coming across Simmons in his own work, he began making inquiries.

Kent asked me, as Publisher of AND, to do a full-blown expose on Simmons to help bring this "criminal impersonation" to light. Fearing I had been duped by Simmons, even for a lunch, I made more inquiries. Some former Case Officers I've known for years and with 20+ years in the agency said Simmons was likely legit. Others I spoke to said, they'd never heard of him, until he was on FOX News.

I was uncomfortable with the entire subject. This is not my thing. But still, the absurdity of it all... I thought to myself, pretending to be a CIA officer has to be one of the most foolish things someone can do, particularly if they intend on being in the public light. This guy looked the part (if that look even exists.) He walked a pretty good walk, and talked a pretty good talk. Yet after Clizbe's scolding, I began to see the cracks described by the ex-spook. Nevertheless, I reluctantly declined Kent's story, discontinued any communication with Simmons, and tried to steer-clear of the entire issue.

Clizbe persisted, as only Kent Clizbe can do.


Just days ago, Wayne Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, entered a plea of guilty on Friday to U.S. charges that he fraudulently claimed to have been a CIA agent for decades, federal prosecutors said. The plea came in a hearing in which Simmons changed the not-guilty plea he had made in October.

For the last three decades, Simmons ran a limousine service, a gambling operation and an AIDS-testing clinic; worked for a hot-tub business, a carpeting company and a nightclub. He even briefly played defensive back for the New Orleans Saints and tried to start up his own airline in Maryland – Simmons Air... but he was never employed by the Central Intelligence Agency in any capacity, whatsoever.

Kent Clizbe
Kent Clizbe

Kent Clizbe served as a staff CIA case officer in the 1990s, and as a contractor after 9/11. He has worked in various capacities in intelligence positions in Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His specialty is Counter-terrorism and Islamic Extremism. | Photo: Larry Fink | Link |
"His fraud cost the government money, could have put American lives at risk, and was an insult to the real men and women of the intelligence community who provide tireless service to this country," said Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

As reported by Ian Simpson and Steve Orlosky, A grand jury indicted him in October for portraying himself as an "Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer" for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1973 to 2000. Simmons also plead guilty to charges of major fraud against the U.S. government, wire fraud and a firearms offense. He faces up to 40 years in prison. Sentencing is set for July 15.

Simmons admitted that he defrauded the government in 2008 when he got work as a team leader in an Army program, and again in 2010 when he was deployed to Afghanistan as an intelligence adviser, the statement said. He said he made similar false statements in a 2009 bid to get work with the State Department's Worldwide Protective Service.

As if all this wasn't enough, Simmons also admitted to defrauding an unidentified woman out of $125,000 in a bogus real estate investment. When he was arrested, Simmons illegally possessed two firearms, which he was barred from having because of prior felonies, including a state conviction and two federal firearms violations.

Regret


The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 is a United States federal law that was passed by the 113th United States Congress, which amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime for a person to fraudulently claim having received any of a series of particular military decorations and awards with the intention of obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit from convincing someone that he or she rightfully did receive that award.

What Simmons has plead guilty to reaches beyond that of wrongful monetary gain. The despicable acts he plead guilty to become impossible to quantify, due to the nature of what the world's intelligence agencies do, every day, in protection of their countries. What he plead guilty to, reaches below the vile likes of Edward Snowden, Julien Assange, and others who (albeit highly suspect) have a self-proclaimed cause. No, what Wayne Simmons plead guilty to is an evil that defies the legal description of Stolen Valor.

My regret is that I was not in a position to have an impact on this crime, yet unknowingly, I watched it happen.

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Updated Apr 24, 2017 7:34 AM EDT | More details

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