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5 indicted in theft from Clark County English program

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5 indicted in theft from Clark County English program

By Bryan Callahan. CREATED Jul 18, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A grand jury has indicted five people in the embezzlement of nearly $300,000 from the Clark County School District's Adult English Language Acquisition program.

Investigators believe Priscilla Rocha's misdeeds date back to 2005. She was the director of that program.

According to the 41-page indictment, Rocha and her four accomplices managed to steal $289,000 from the district over nine years.

The 52-count indictment accuses Rocha of falsifying time cards and directing the money to co-defendants for personal use. She's also accused of buying computer equipment with district money and giving it to schools in Mexico, and charging students for dictionaries, then pocketing the cash for herself.

The indictment said Rocha and her son Jerome reportedly conspired with Donnie Placencia to submit fake time sheets for tutorial work. The first year, Placencia was reportedly paid $2,900 for work that was never done.

In the coming years after that, the fictitious time sheets earned Placencia as much as $23,000 a year.

The indictment shows in 2011, Rocha purchased 20 Dell computers, 4 iPads, a projector, a TV and 5 laptops, all with district money, and then donated them to schools in Mexico, without the district's permission.

Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky said he didn't learn of these alleged crimes until December of 2013, and immediately began an investigation.

"We're changing procedures. We're moving to some electronic filing pieces, so that we can verify those things in a very quick time-frame. Some of the paperwork takes time when it goes through," said Skorkowsky.

Rocha and her accomplices are expected in court on July 24.

Police served search warrants at the district and elsewhere in March after an employee tipped authorities to possible misuse of funds.

Rocha was placed on leave from the program, which offers adult English classes and other services, but is no longer an employee.

Bryan Callahan

Bryan Callahan

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Bryan Callahan joined the Action News team as a general assignment reporter in August of 2013.