Rancho Santiago Community College Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Ex-Official Accused of Stealing Low Income Student Grants

The Rancho Santiago Community College District official indicted in May for allegedly stealing $100,000 in federal grants intended for low income students recently received more bad news when the district filed a seven-page civil lawsuit against her.

Anna Catalan cheated by systematically stealing student checks from February 2008 to April 2011 and then covering up her crimes, according to the lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court by Redlands attorney Leigh O. Harper.

The suit alleges Catalan is guilty of breaching her fiduciary duty to the college, negligent representation, fraud, conversion and intentional deceit.

Catalan had served as Director of Special Programs and the school's College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which in 2007 won a five-year, $425,000 annual grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Assistant United States Attorney Brett A. Sagel, one of the Department of Justice prosecutors who sent dirty ex-Sheriff Mike Carona to prison, is prosecuting the Irvine resident, who is free from custody after posting $25,000 bail, on six crimes.

If Catalan is eventually found guilty inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, she faces a maximum 20-year prison trip.

She has not yet formally responded to the civil case, which has been assigned to Superior Court Judge Robert J. Moss.

You can read the Weekly's breaking news coverage of Catalan's arrest HERE.

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R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.

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