Woman arrested in Nation Building Fund probe

Sandra Catron claims police harassment

Sandra Catron was arrested Thursday in connection with a criminal investigation into expenditures from the former United Democratic Party government’s Nation Building Fund. 

According to a police statement, a 40-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of uttering a false document [forgery]. 

The police statement issued Thursday did not specify what the “uttering a false document” allegation related to. No charges had been filed against Ms Catron by press time. 

The Caymanian Compass confirmed that Ms Catron had been detained at a police station Thursday and had obtained legal representation. Ms Catron also indicated the arrest was related to the Nation Building Fund probe. She said she was granted police bail around noon Thursday.  

“This will have been the third time now the RCIPS has arrested me, and will probably charge, based on what is a civil matter,” Ms Catron said following her release from lockup. The Newlands resident was told to report back to the police in a month following an interview under caution. “This is a contract dispute, not a criminal issue. 

“I have had it with [the police service] constantly bringing civil cases against me that have no criminal basis.”  

The Caymanian Compass has previously reported on the police investigation into Ms Catron’s alleged involvement in receiving payments from the Nation Building Fund.  

Police confirmed in September that officers were conducting a criminal investigation into more than $50,000 received by a Cayman Islands resident from the former UDP government’s Nation Building Fund.  

Those payments, for an online paralegal instruction course, were made to a company named Micro Matrix, owned and operated by Ms Catron. A police statement issued earlier on the matter said, “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 statement did not name the person under investigation. However, Ms Catron at that time confirmed to the Caymanian Compass that she had received several phone calls from former students in her paralegal training course informing her that police had contacted them and asked about the class.  

Ms Catron said she understood that the uttering a false document allegation on Thursday related to certificates for the paralegal course that were printed, but not provided to students who didn’t complete the online course. Ms Catron also indicated there had been an allegation of “obtaining property by deception,” but that was not specified in the police news release on Thursday.  

The Compass has previously reported that Ms Catron sent an email to Police Commissioner David Baines in September 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.  

Ms Catron filed a lawsuit against the government in September, claiming she was owed $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.