Illinois Man Missing Since 1979 is Found Working in Las Vegas

An Illinois man who was declared legally dead after he went missing in 1979 has been found working as a bookie in Las Vegas, Nevada, authorities said Friday.

Arthur Gerald Jones, 72, was arrested July 19 and charged with four felony charges of identity theft and fraud.

A complaint regarding the fraudulent use of a Social Security number and the fraudulent use of a Nevada driver’s license led to Jones’ arrest, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said.

According to the site, Jones once worked as a commodities broker at the Chicago Board of Trade, the department said, but in 1979 he went missing, and his disappearance was labeled suspicious. Gambling debts and possible organized crime affiliations led police to believe foul play might have been involved.

According to the release, Jones was declared legally dead in 1986, and Jones’ wife and three children collected Social Security benefits.

Jones — who resided in Highland Park, Ill., at the time of his disappearance — said he purchased a fake Illinois driver’s license, birth certificate and Social Security card for $800 in Chicago in 1979, then moved to Florida, before eventually obtaining a Nevada driver’s license in 1988.

He was living under the name Joseph Richard Sandelli, according to the Nevada DMV.

Jones is being held on $20,000 bail.

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