A former Chicago commodities broker who disappeared almost 32 years ago and was declared dead in 1986 was found working as a sports book writer in an upscale Las Vegas neighborhood, a job he had held for a decade.
Arthur Gerald Jones, a husband and father of three was reported missing on May 11, 1979. The police then believed that he might have been a victim of foul play because of his gambling debts and links to the mob, but they never solved the missing persons case according to an affidavit filed by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles earlier this week, reports Reuters.
However, after Jones was found in Las Vegas a DMV investigator concluded in the affidavit that he had voluntarily left his family and friends possibly to flee the mob and start afresh.
Jones, now 72, was arrested last week on four felony counts related to identity theft and fraud after he renewed his Nevada driver's license in 2008 under his assumed name, Joseph Richard Sandelli.
Authorities say that before Jones disappeared he had paid a friend in Chicago to forge documents, including a false Illinois driver's license, birth certificate and a Social Security number belonging to another man.
Jones told investigators that he had held a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade, which he was forced to sell to pay off his debts. To escape a troubled marriage and dwindling finances, Jones decided to leave his family and get a "fresh start" the affidavit said.
Jones' former wife, Joanne Esplin, informed authorities that Jones sold his seat to pay personal gambling debts, and he had even forged her name to take out a second mortgage on their house to redeem his gambling debts. She added that her husband's gambling had led him to bet $30,000 on a basketball game, according to the affidavit.
Esplin added that she suspected her husband of running errands for the Chicago mob and the day he disappeared he looked very jittery.
Since Jones maintained no contact with his family or friends he was presumed dead and Social Security paid his wife and children $74000 in benefits.
Jones was discovered after the Nevada DMV, on a tip from the Social Security Administration, began investigating his potentially fraudulent use of a social security number.
Jones' lawyer Stephen Stein, has said he has been released on $20,000 bail. He is set for an Aug. 23 court hearing.