Police have confirmed that local authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into more than CI$50,000 received by a Cayman Islands resident from the former United Democratic Party government’s Nation Building Fund.
Those payments, that went for an online paralegal instruction course, were made to a company named Micro Matrix, owned and operated by Sandra Catron.
According to a Royal Cayman Islands Police Service statement issued this week on the matter: “We can confirm that a complaint was received from the Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs on Sept. 4. The complaint centers on the misuse of monies allocated by the Nation Building Fund to an individual for the training of staff.”
The police statement declined to name the person under investigation, however, Ms Catron confirmed to the Caymanian Compass that she has received several phone calls from former students in her paralegal training course informing her that police had contacted them asking about the class.
Ms Catron sent an email to Police Commissioner David Baines a week ago indicating that she believed someone was seeking to mar her business name in the community for “political reasons.”
“What beg[a]n as a good faith effort with our service and the premier’s Nation Building Fund has now turned into the usual political foolishness and RCIPS vindictiveness,” Ms Catron wrote. There is no record of any response to the email from Mr. Baines or anyone in the RCIPS.
The Compass understands that the nature of the allegation against Ms Catron is that she received funds from government for the training course that were then used for other purposes. Ms Catron denies any and all such accusations related to the case.
Ms Catron filed a lawsuit against the government on Tuesday, claiming she was owed CI$13,400 from a paralegal instruction course that she taught under the auspices of the Nation Building Fund. A previous amount for paralegal training courses totaling $50,250 was paid in two installments, according to the lawsuit.
According to the writ: “Initially the premier [referring to then-Premier McKeeva Bush] wanted to sponsor some 50 persons but that was not fiscally possible with the budgetary constraints at the time. The contract was to provide the paralegal certificate programme to sponsor 30 participants at the cost of CI$1,675 per person.
“The premier decided to sponsor an additional group of students for the 2012/13 fiscal year for an additional eight persons,” the writ goes on to state. “Numerous attempts to receive payment across three different administrations have been made with no positive results to date.”
Ms Catron said she invoiced the government for CI$13,400 on Aug. 29, 2012 for the additional group but has received nothing since, despite several attempts to ensure payment.