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Aaron Jones indicted on Arson charges.

Aaron Jones, 33, was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on three counts of mail fraud, one count of the use of fire in the commission of a federal felony and one count of arson in connection to the destruction of his Chenal Valley home.

The charges stem from the May 30, 2008, fire at 43 Chenal Circle that Jones blamed on one or more intruders who, he said, bound him with duct tape and set the fire.

The mail fraud charges are related to his insurance claims on the house and its contents.

Here's how a press release from U.S. Attorney Jane Duke and the FBI described the crime:

"On May 30, 2008, the residence was damaged by fire. Jones, who was home alone at the time, told law enforcement authorities that an intruder broke into 43 Chenal Circle and set fire to the residence. On July 28, 2008, in an effort to recoup his losses from the fire, Jones caused to be mailed a letter and Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss in the amount of $2,940,229.69 to his insurance company. On September 12, 2008, Jones caused to be mailed a letter and Amended Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss in the amount of $2,816,618.40 to his insurance company.

On January 12, 2009, Jones' insurance company delivered via Federal Express a $1.2 million check to Jones' legal counsel. This money was paid to the primary mortgage holder for 43 Chenal Circle."

Mail fraud carries a possible punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The use of fire in the commission of a federal felony carries punishment of no less than 10 years in prison, to be served consecutive to the underlying felony, and can carry a life sentence. The punishment for arson is no less than five years and no more than 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

"The FBI is dedicated to working with our federal state and local partners in thoroughly investigating these types of offenses," Thomas J. Browne, special agenct in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Little Rock field office, said in a press release announcing the indictment.

Jones is being represented by Little Rock attorneys Tim Dudley and Danny Crabtree. Crabtree told Arkansas Business that they had not yet seen the indictment and would not have an immediate comment.
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Title Annotation:LEGAL
Author:Moritz, Gwen
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Oct 12, 2009
Words:412
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