Ball State hires prosecutor to review investment fraud

Ball State University is hiring a former federal prosecutor to review the handling of fraudulent investments that cost the school $13.1 million.

Ball State Board of Trustees chairman Rick Hall said Indianapolis attorney Deborah Daniels will scrutinize what happened with the investments and recommend any actions the university should take to prevent future problems. Daniels is a former U.S. attorney for the southern district of Indiana.

"She will provide a fresh review of what has transpired and then make recommendations, advise the board on any steps it can take," Hall told The Star Press.

University officials say a Ball State employee mischaracterized to her supervisors one of the investment and was fired in 2008. Two out-of-state men have already been prosecuted in New York and sentenced to federal prison for their roles in the schemes.

Hall said the main objectives for the university are prosecution of all those criminally responsible, recovery of any stolen money and the reassurance that "we have taken all steps to minimize a recurrence."

Hall said a specific timeline hasn't been set for the review or the report to the trustees. Daniels, now a partner at the Indianapolis law firm Krieg DeVault, is the sister of former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The board's executive committee voted Thursday to give Hall the authority to arrange for an external review of the investment frauds.

Ball State Treasurer Randy Howard said last month that internal controls should have alerted school officials to the fraudulent investments. He said he didn't know whether that failure involved deception by anyone at the university, a lack of due diligence or both.

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