The Bandidos Motorcycle Club has opted to put on paper what they have argued all along, that they are not a gang but a legitimate brotherhood of motorcycle riders.
In March, the Bandidos’ national board and interim president, William E. Sartelle, formed a nonprofit corporation called USARG Inc. to represent the Bandidos and to handle the group’s charitable contributions. Sartelle, Timothy W. Harper and Marcos M. Flores, all of the Houston area, are listed as directors.
On May 3, USARG filed an assumed name certificate with Texas’ Secretary of State Office to conduct business as the Bandidos Motorcycle Club United States.
“It was announced at the presidents’ meeting on January 28, 2017, that a non-profit corporation would be set up and that all chapters would be entering into licensing agreements in order to continue to be Bandido chapters,” according to an affidavit obtained by the San Antonio Express-News. The affidavit is signed by William S. Morian Jr., who became general counsel for the Bandidos in early May.
The meeting in Las Vegas included presidents from the 123 licensed chapters of the Bandidos in the United States, court records said.
In an interview with the Express-News, Morian said USARG Inc. is a nonprofit corporation.
“They’ve been operating as a motorcycle club for many years,” Morian said. “Steps were taken just to update their status. Bill Sartelle, and the national chapter, took steps to put it on paper.”
The Bandidos were formed in the Houston area in the 1960s and earned an outlaw reputation, using the motto: “we are the people our parents warned us about.” They are considered Texas’ ruling biker club. The Bandidos have drawn headlines mainly for crimes of members, but some chapters have been in the news for conducting toy drives for children and motorcycle runs for charity.
“The money raised by USARG Inc., no one receives that money in their pockets, it’s all used for charitable purposes,” said Morian, of Jasper. “None of the Bandidos or the board use those funds, it’s not for personal gain.”
USARG will regulate the Bandidos trademark and its logos. Morian said the USA club has not been affiliated with international groups carrying the Bandidos name since 2006.
“If some pop-up club tries to use the logos or trademarks that belong to the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, then obviously the corporation can file an injunction or seek damages,” Morian said.
Read more: San Antonio Express News
Photo by Matt McGee