Worthington man jailed for stealing his own bond money
WORTHINGTON -- A Worthington man arrested in December for allegedly forging checks he had stolen from a family member is now back in jail for allegedly stealing his own bond payment.
Charges of forgery and theft were filed this week in Nobles County District Court against Devon Allen Maras, 22, and a new bond set at $2,500.
The criminal complaint states two people stopped at the Prairie Justice Center to report a theft, but they were not the victims, they said. The complainants said Maras had moved in with their housemate, the victim, after being released from jail.
The victim, they said, had arranged for Maras' bail, but didn't have the $375 the bondsman wanted. The bondsman fronted the money and the victim signed a promissory note with the agreement he would send a money order to pay the debt. When Maras was released from jail, he went to live with the victim and said he would pay back the money when he got his disability funds.
The victim purchased a money order several days later and put it in his inside coat pocket. He left his coat on the back of a chair at approximately 11 p.m. that night, but when he got up the next morning, his wallet and the money order were missing.
The three housemates and Maras were all present when the missing items were discovered, but when the victim started to search for his wallet, they discovered Maras had run from the house.
The two housemates told an officer they had gone with Maras at about 2 a.m. when he tried to unsuccessfully cash a money order at Walmart and Hy-Vee. Maras allegedly told them the money order was from his mother.
The officer obtained documentation from a bank manager in Worthington that showed a money order for $375 made payable to Maras and signed with the victim's name had been cashed shortly before 8 a.m. the same morning. The money order had the victim's address but the wrong zip code, and was noted by a state identification number.
The officer obtained video of the victim's purchase of the money order and of Maras cashing it. The state ID number matched that of Maras. The victim denied signing the money order, pointing out that his last name was spelled wrong and signed differently than his usual signature.
The officer located Maras several days later and arrested him. Maras allegedly said he thought the victim had already paid the bondsman, and stated another of the housemates had given him the money order to cash for a debt the housemate owed. He denied signing the money order with the victim's name, and said he had just endorsed the back and didn't know who signed it. He claimed he was supposed to get $50 for cashing the money order, but when he came back with the cash, the housemate didn't want the money.
Maras was charged last month with forging $383 in stolen checks, which he allegedly admitting to stealing from a family member. He has previous convictions of controlled substance possession, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, fifth-degree assault, driving without a valid license and driving after revocation. He is scheduled to make a court appearance Tuesday on the two new felony-level forgery charges.
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