Las Vegas Sun

July 30, 2014

Currently: 99° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Authorities arrest Chicago broker found hiding out in Las Vegas for 32 years

Man working as sports bookie at Rampart Casino in Summerlin

Click to enlarge photo

Arthur Jones

A former Chicago commodities broker who was missing for 32 years and declared legally dead has been arrested after he was found working as a sports book writer at the Rampart Casino in Summerlin for the past decade.

Arthur Jones, 72, was arrested and charged Tuesday with felony false identity, identity theft and fraud, authorities said today.

Jones, who was released on $20,000 bail, is scheduled to be arraigned on felony charges Aug. 23 in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Jones was living in Las Vegas under the alias of Joseph Sandelli and is believed to have used that name since his disappearance from Highland Park, Il., in 1979. His arrest came after a complaint regarding the fraudulent use of a Social Security number.

The reason for his disappearance was unclear but authorities in Chicago said he might have met some trouble because of gambling debts and possible organized crime affiliations.

Jones was declared legally deceased in 1986 and his wife and children collected Social Security benefits as a result. Investigators say Jones obtained a false Illinois driver license, birth certificate and Social Security number he claims to have purchased in 1979 for $800 in Chicago. He allegedly used the documents to get a Nevada driver license in 1988.

In a press release DMV spokesman Kevin Malone said all four of Jones’ felony charges carry a minimum term in prison.

"Nevada has some pretty tough laws on using other people's identities or false identities. Just possessing a false birth certificate is a felony offense in this state, so he is facing four felonies and they are pretty serious charges," Malone said.

A joint investigation by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles’ Compliance Enforcement Division found the false driver license under the name of Sandelli.

The Social Security Administration is continuing its investigation into Jones.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 12 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Chunky says:

    He's surprised they would let him out on bail considering he's been hiding out for 32 years. He also wonders if the family will have to pay back what they collected; it doesn't sound like it was their fault.

    That's what Chunky thinks and ponders on this Friday afternoon! Have a Chunkadelic weekend!

  2. This is essentially white collar "crime" -- essentially a civil matter. Again I have to ask who did this accused man hurt?

    Have a look -- "Over-Criminalization of Conduct/Over-Federalization of Criminal Law" @ http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_...

    "Where once the criminal law might have stood as a well-understood and indisputable statement of shared norms in American society, now there is only a bloated compendium that looks very much like the dreaded federal tax code. The end results can be downright ugly: a soccer mom thrown in jail in a small Texas town for failing to wear a seatbelt; a 12-year-old girl arrested and handcuffed for eating french fries in a Metro station in Washington, DC; and defendants serving 25-year to life sentences in California prisons for, among other things, pilfering a slice of pizza." -- "Overextending the Criminal Law" @ http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v...

  3. A guy hides out for 32 years and they let him out on bail? Well, I'm sure this fine upstanding individual will show up.

  4. OH, NO!!!
    He "disapeared"!!!
    Better lock him up and throw away the KEY!!!

  5. gmag,
    Don't forget, he not only disappeared (not necessarily a crime to run away from home) but for the next 10 years he/his family were apparently ripping off Social Security. That, I think, is a crime worth prosecuting, yes?

  6. @ tom Gorman
    I would guess that the family collected only after he was declared LEGALLY dead so the intent to steal was not there. How ever I agree that Mr. Jones should be held accountable for his actions, And perhaps even though he used a different name and Social security number he still paid into the program and maybe the SS administration can recoup some of their losses by seizing that portion of money.
    @ the rest of the bloggers Do you all remember the Sun contracting with a fellow named Rodger who wrote some stories about the new homeless, I was wondering if the Sun could get Rodger and Mr. Jones together and they could write some kind of in depth account of Mr. Jones being on the lamb for all these years trying to avoid capture from the unsavory people he owed money to back in Chicago or was he on the run for embezzlement. It could make for a good series of stories.

  7. Maybe he got tired of listening to his wife yapping at him, and decided to hide out in Vegas.

  8. I thought the same thing Mark and 32 years wasn't enough huh lol.

  9. Tom...

    They were collecting Social Security, as per your story, after pops was declared LEGALLY DEAD.
    Your assertion that they were "ripping off" Social Security would require that you provides some corroborating factual evidence, or at least some conjecture on your part as to how they were all "in on it"...

    I guess we can count on you to let us know "the rest of the story", eh?

  10. Gee I wonder if he was on face book with Whitey Bulger lol.

  11. "...Mr. Jones being on the lamb..."

    casinokid -- looking it up is easy @ dictionary.reference.com/browse/lam

    baaaaaa-aaaa-aaaaaaaa

  12. I would say let him out to write sports book and seize most of his income to repay the money his family received. The alternative is for Las Vegas taxpayers and/or the feds to spend a pile of money to keep him in a cage.