WASHINGTON – An Indiana man who taught sex offenders and aspiring federal law enforcement officers how to cheat their court- or job-imposed lie detector tests was sentenced to eight months in prison Friday — a somewhat muted victory for authorities hoping to send a stern warning to those in the business of beating polygraphs.
Federal district Judge Liam O’Grady had seemed somewhat sympathetic to the argument by Chad Dixon, 34, that merely teaching someone how to trick a lie detector is protected as a form of free speech, telling attorneys at one point, “There’s nothing unlawful about maybe 95 percent of the business he conducted.”
O’Grady, though, rejected Dixon’s request for no prison time, saying that Dixon, who pleaded guilty in December to wire fraud and obstruction of an agency proceeding, went too far when he helped undercover agents learn to cheat the polygraph after they told him specifically that they intended to lie when they applied for federal jobs. Prosecutors had accused Dixon of teaching what they call “polygraph countermeasures” to as many as 100 people across the United States, among them convicted sex offenders and those applying for federal law enforcement jobs.
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