Las Vegas Sun

January 21, 2018

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Arraignment reset for ‘dead’ man who was hiding in Las Vegas for decades

Arthur Jones was arrested July 19 and charged with four felony counts of false identity, identity theft and fraud.

Arthur Jones was arrested July 19 and charged with four felony counts of false identity, identity theft and fraud.

A court arraignment date has been reset for later this month for Arthur Jones, the former Chicago-area man who had been declared legally dead and was recently found to have been hiding in plain sight in Las Vegas for 32 years.

Jones, 72, who has been charged with felony false identity, identity theft and fraud, had been scheduled to plead guilty this week to one Class E felony offense in Clark County District Court as part of a deal he worked out with the Nevada Attorney General's office. As part of the deal, he would avoid prison, get probation and would pay restitution, according to his attorney, Stephen Stein.

His arraignment has been reset for 9 a.m. Sept. 26 before Arraignment Hearing Master Melissa De La Garza.

Jones has been out of custody on $20,000 bail since he was arrested in July. Although sentencing would be left up to the court, the deal is expected to get him up to five years of probation.

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, Ill., 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. Stein said the reasons for his disappearance will be revealed later.

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's 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's license in 1988.

Stein said besides getting probation, Jones is expected to have to pay restitution, which will be determined by the courts. However, he said Jones could end up paying between $46,000 and $75,000 for Social Security fraud.

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