Former police officer arrested on fraud-related charges


A Jennings County resident and former sheriff’s department officer was arrested Tuesday on numerous fraud-related charges after a six-month investigation by detectives with the Indiana State Police Special Investigations Section.

The investigation by Detectives Craig Starr and Tony Guinn began in early 2020 when allegations of insurance fraud, official misconduct and forgery were made against James C. Gholson, 35, of Elizabethtown, according to a news release from Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the Versailles Post.

During the investigation, detectives determined Gholson reported the theft of oxygen equipment from his home in February 2018.

Gholson, who owned an oxygen supply business, reported the theft to the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department. Gholson then filed insurance claims with his business insurance company and his homeowners insurance company. He was paid more than $100,000 by one company and more than $87,000 from the other company on the same claim.

In April 2019, Gholson again claimed he had oxygen equipment stolen from his home, and he again filed claims with two separate insurance companies, police said.

He was paid more than $56,000 from one company and more than $10,000 from the other company.

The investigation also determined Gholson provided the insurance companies with false invoices showing he possessed the equipment that had been stolen.

Gholson then manufactured a false police report showing he had reported the theft to the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

In November 2019, Gholson again attempted to file an insurance claim with his homeowners insurance company claiming he had a trailer with two mowers stolen from his residence.

Gholson provided the insurance company with a false invoice showing he had previously purchased the equipment. He also provided the insurance company with a false title for the trailer. He again provided a fraudulent police report from the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department. The insurance company denied the claim after uncovering evidence of fraud.

A senior prosecutor was assigned to review and file the case. As a result of the investigation, a Jennings County Circuit Court warrant was issued Monday against Gholson for charges of three counts of insurance fraud and two counts each of official misconduct and forgery. The charges are all Level 6 felonies, punishable by six months to two and a half years in jail upon conviction.

Gholson was arrested without incident Tuesday and booked into the Jennings County Jail in North Vernon. He will soon face an initial appearance in Jennings Circuit Court.

Gholson was a reserve officer with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department from November 2017 to February 2020. He was a full-time officer from February 2020 until he resigned in June 2020 when the investigation began.

The sheriff’s department cooperated with the investigation and was crucial in providing Indiana State Police detectives with information during the course of the investigation, Wheeles said.

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