By Ken de la Bastide
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — Local psychologist Bruce Jones has been sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison following his conviction for illegally possessing firearms and ammunition.
Jones, 66, of Anderson was convicted in 1984 for insurance fraud and selling drugs. He was barred from possessing firearms or ammunition because of those convictions.
Joe Hogsett, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said Friday's 100-month sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt was at the high end of the sentencing guidelines.
He said the maximum sentence is 10 years and Jones will have to serve 85 percent of his prison time. Jones is scheduled to go on trial in July on federal health care fraud charges.
A 2012 federal grand jury indictment accuses Jones of fraudulently billing at least two health care benefit programs for counseling services that were not actually provided to patients in excess of $100,000.
“Several patients were city employees,” Hogsett said of the health care fraud charges. “There was $250,000 in improper payments made by the city’s insurance carrier.”
If convicted, Jones could face an additional three or four years in prison on the health care fraud charges.
Hogsett said firearms were found in Jones’ possession when a search warrant was served on his two Madison County properties and a ranch in Montana as a part of the health care fraud investigation. He said four dozen firearms and 14,000 rounds of ammunition were found at Jones’ Montana property.
As a result of the conviction on the illegal possession of firearms, Jones was ordered by the court to forfeit 47 firearms and ammunition and pay a $12,000 fine. He will be placed on three years of supervised probation when released from prison.
Hogsett said the investigation found that Jones encouraged his patients to purchase weapons for him.
“He knew he was prohibited from purchasing firearms, but continued to flaunt the law,” Hogsett said.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of prosecutors and our law enforcement partners, we have brought to justice a person whose total disregard for the rule of law was a danger to this community,” he said. “This case represents exactly what our Violent Crime Initiative is all about: collaborating across jurisdictions to make Central Indiana a safer place to live and work.”
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.
Anderson psychologist Bruce Jones was sentenced to 100 months in prison for illegal possession of 47 firearms and 14,000 rounds of ammunition. A 1984 conviction on federal insurance fraud charge prohibited him from owning firearms or ammunition. Jones is scheduled for a July trial on federal health care fraud charges.