Chad Dixon was recently sentenced to eight months in prison for teaching federal job applicants how to beat a lie detector test.
Dixon pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud and obstructing a government proceeding with his anti-polygraph business, reported the Star Tribune.
Prosecutors wanted Dixon locked up for two years to send a “strong message” to others who might disseminate this technical information, which is all over the web.
There are numerous websites that give advice on how to beat a polygraph, including USNews.com, AntiPolygraph.org, Wikihow.com, Lifehacker.com, LiveScience.com and the Discovery Channel's website. Books on how to beat polygraph tests are available for purchase on Amazon.com.
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For reasons unknown, none of these websites have ever been prosecuted.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Philips, Dixon trained between 70 and 100 people, including convicted sex offenders and government contractors with a security clearance.
“He adopted their illegitimate ends as their own. Mr. Dixon chose to enrich himself by teaching others how to convincingly lie, cheat and steal," claimed Philips.
Dixon’s defense attorney Nina Ginsberg said that Dixon’s classes were protected by the First Amendment: “It may be unfortunate for federal law enforcement, but it is protected speech to tell people how to lie on a polygraph. Mr. Dixon gave them advice. He didn’t know they were going to follow that advice.”
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Dixon said his training method taught people how to relax when they were being questioned, silently count backward in increments of three on other questions and other simple techniques.
“There’s nothing unlawful about maybe 95 percent of the business he conducted. A sentence of incarceration is absolutely necessary to deter others,” said District Judge Liam O’Grady, who is apparently unaware of how widely available this information is on the Internet.