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Former CCSD employees say they feared leader caught in fraud scheme

Reported by: Sandra Gonzalez
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Updated: 7/25/2014 12:20 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) --  Rocha and four others are accused of misuse of money from the Clark County School District, in what investigators say is a complicated financial scheme.

The second volume of information collected, with more than two hundred pages, reveals testimony from co-workers and friends of Rocha. One of the witnesses, Manuel Ramirez, was working in IT for the school district's Adult English Language Acquitistion Services.

Ramirez admits right away he has taken a deal in this case in exchange for his testimony. He told the grand jury he was the one who purchased computers and electronic equipment for the department. Rocha wanted him to order 35 computers to deliver to children in Ensenada, Mexico. He says he went to the Mexican Consulate to discuss the delivery, but Rocha told him to stop.

"When she didn't want me to go through the route through the Consulate, I thought that was wrong. And it was wrong here and it was wrong there," Ramirez testified.

Ramirez also says he was ordered to deliver and install a surveillance system at the home of Rocha's friend Andres Mendoza.

He was asked before the jurors: "You were aware it was not good to be giving him district property, he's not a district employee?"

And Ramirez responded, "Yes."

Ramirez claims he feared Rocha, and that she was quite explosive.

Another former employee, Claudia Zapata, testified she witnessed Rocha asking for $6,000-$10,000 for a down payment on the Yamilex Salon she ended up purchasing. Zapata says Rocha explained: she was going to borrow the money and then put it back.

Another man, Jaime Espitia, also testified he and Rocha were in on a scheme to give him a salary through his godson's name. Espitia is undocumented, and admitted to receiving thousands of dollars for work not performed by his godson Cesar Diaz Villanueva.

Rocha is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Rocha's attorney says Rocha has dedicated 24 years to the school district and is committed to her involvement in Hispanic organizations.

He also called the case "very defensable" and says it may end up being a "big paper mess" when heard in court.



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