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A Bay Area dentist-office embezzlement case is somehow tied to massive probe of Hells Angels, murder investigation

Published in 1%er News

A relatively minor federal fraud case came about after federal agents raided a Santa Rosa home as part of their massive probe into the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, including an alleged murder and two unsolved disappearances, court records recently revealed.

Katrina Maras is charged in federal court with fraudulent use of an unauthorized access device; in layman’s terms, she allegedly used the company credit card for a dentist’s office where she worked to purchase roughly $12,800 in personal expenses. Maras has pleaded not guilty, was freed within days of her July 2020 arrest, and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, court records show.

However, recently filed court records revealed that a 2017 FBI raid that led to the seizure of evidence in Maras’ case wasn’t connected to her, but to her romantic partner at the time and his alleged ties to the Hells Angels. Neither Maras nor her partner were charged, but authorities confirmed in court records the raid was related to the 2017 indictment of a dozen Hells Angels, on charges of murder and mayhem.

During the raid, agents seized ammunition, suspected steroids, a ball peen hammer, and several electronic devices and SIM cards, according to an FBI receipt for property that was attached to a defense motion.

Maras’ partner’s link to the case was revealed in a failed defense motion seeking to get Maras’ statements to the FBI thrown out of court. The motion says Maras was pregnant with her second child on July 29, 2020, when a CHP officer and federal agents — some of them armed with AR-15 rifles — took her into custody and transported her young son to her partner.

Maras was then interviewed for two hours about the Hells Angels. The lead prosecutor in the Hells Angels case asked her questions about items seized in the 2017 raid, according to the defense memo, which argued any statements she made were involuntary.

“Although Ms. Maras did not expressly ask for a lawyer, she expressed concern that she should probably talk to an attorney because she was confused by the situation and she did not want to give the wrong answers,” her attorney, Dena Marie Young, wrote in court records. “The implication throughout the interviews was that if she answered their questions, she would be able to go home, but if she did not, she would be placed in custody and thus deprived of her job and her son.”

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria barely entertained the motion, denying it in a four-sentence June 21 order that said the defense “has done nothing in her motion to create even an inference that that any of her statements during the interrogation at the courthouse were coerced or not properly mirandized,” of that law enforcement had been improper.

The Hells Angels indictment, filed in 2017, charges the defendants with murdering a sergeant-at-arms of the notorious biker gang at the Fresno clubhouse, over an internal conflict. Along the way, the FBI investigated two unsolved disappearances of other Hells Angels who were also last seen in the Fresno area. Prosecutors allege the victim, a Sonoma Hells Angel, was cremated after being shot in the head. Other charges include a brutal assault by a former Sonoma chapter member that authorities call a form of witness intimidation.

Location: California
Source: mercurynews
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