Bois D’Arc man going to federal prison for mail fraud

A Bois D’Arc man will spend one year and one day in federal prison for selling Chinese-made rifle scopes which he claimed to be made in America.
It was reported that James Bonis received the sentence on Wednesday, May 15, after pleading guilty to mail fraud and money laundering.
Bonis was caught removing the “Made in China” labels in 2014, as well as labels stating they were not meant for military or police use. He replaced them with labels stating the scopes were made in America and that they were suitable for police and military use, the Springfield News-Leader stated. Bonis said he regretted misrepresenting the rifle scopes, but also
stood by their quality. Bonis’s misrepresentation cost consumers about $400,000,    and    he    was    ordered to pay that amount, according to the News-Leader. Federal prosecutors
recommended that Bonis receive 15-months in prison. They argued that he deserved leniency because he assisted in the prosecution of Michael Ussery in a 2015 bank fraud trial.
Bonis’s lawyer, Nancy Price, asked for probation. According to the News- Leader, she presented sev- eral letters from supporters who described him as “a good friend, father and son.” She also argued that he would be better able to pay the $400,000 if he wasn’t in jail, and he was also on the verge of los- ing his 20,000 square-foot home due to foreclosure.
Judge Doug Harpool, who presided over the case, ultimately decided to give Bonis the sentence of one year and one day. He said the crimes were ‘serious,’ and probation would not be appropriate.
In previous years, it was also reported that Bonis’s home was raided in 2015 during a rape investigation during which two women and a 16-year-old girl reported inappropriate sexual activity during parties at the residence. Prosecutors decided not to file charges, citing a lack of evidence. Bonis denied any wrongdoing. Harpool said the investigation was not a consideration when he sentenced Bonis.
Bonis will be eligible for early release with good behavior.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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