Inquiry Targets 2 Contractors On L.A. Community Colleges Project

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, December 2, 2011

Los Angeles County prosecutors are investigating possible criminal wrongdoing by two major contractors working for the Los Angeles Community College District as part of its $5.7-billion campus construction program.

The inquiry centers on allegations by the district's inspector general that companies owned by Art Gastelum and Nizar Katbi submitted fraudulent billings for construction work at Mission College in Sylmar, Deputy Dist. Atty. Max Huntsman said Wednesday.

The district alleges that Gastelum's firm approved a payment to Katbi's company for work it had not performed.

"If it is true they submitted false claims in order to be paid for work that wasn't done, that is clearly a crime," Huntsman said.

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