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Former Sunnyside Unified School District employee faces fraud charges

Former Sunnyside Unified School District employee faces fraud charges

A longtime former Sunnyside School District employee is facing multiple fraud charges amid allegations that she violated competitive bidding rules.

A state grand jury indicted Joan Katz on multiple felony charges for fraudulent schemes and practices, presentment of false instrument for filing and conflict of interest, a news release from the Arizona attorney’s general office said.

In 2019, Katz, the former Parents as Teachers Program coordinator, allegedly hired her daughter’s company, The Souls Nest, LLC, without obtaining competitive bids and without disclosing her conflict of interest, the news release said.

Katz also allegedly hired another district employee’s company, G&H Educational Services, without obtaining competitive bids. The indictment alleges that after payment was sent to both companies, Katz submitted false documents to cover up the lack of a competitive bidding process for both projects.

According to the Arizona Auditor General's office, Katz allegedly purchased $1,374 of services from her daughter’s company and $2,500 of services from G&H Educational Services.

Katz was arraigned on the charges in Pima County Superior Court on Oct. 8, the news release said

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