Former dean of East L.A. College charged with embezzlement

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The first day of class at East Los Angeles College in 2012. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

The first day of class at East Los Angeles College in 2012. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

A former East Los Angeles College dean has been charged with embezzlement after allegedly overbilling his employer for trips he went on, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Paul De La Cerda, 47, faces one felony count each of misappropriation of government funds and embezzlement of government funds.

De La Cerda allegedly overbilled the college about $1,575 for several hotel stays, and is accused of forging documents he submitted for reimbursement between March 2017 and 2019, officials said.

He is expected to be arraigned on Jan. 7.

De La Cerda served as the dean of economic development and innovation at the college, according to the Los Angeles Times. He left the school over the summer, the newspaper reported, citing a Los Angeles Community College District’s spokesman.

De La Cerda is currently listed as vice president of instruction and assistant superintendent at Cabrillo College, the Times reported, citing his LinkedIn page.

The case is being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s fraud and cyber crimes unit.

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