Ball State Burying Million Dollar Losses in Reserves

Whitewashing and Censorship Continues at Ball State University

MUNCIE, Indiana – In case you didn’t see the article in the Ball State Daily News, the board of trustees decided to bury the majority of the $13.1 million lost in 2011 in their reserves to avoid “negatively affecting students or teachers”. The loss was a result of Gail Prizevoits aggressively seeking high rates of returns off investments during the junk mortgage securities days during George Bush’s presidency leading up to finance industry meltdown in 2008.

As a quick reminder, Ms. Prizevoits was chasing high returns from collaterialized mortgage back obligations (CMO’s) which were all the rage leading up to the global financial crisis. After Wall Street committed fraud on thousands of investors around the globe, taxpayers had to reach deep into their pockets to bail out the financial industry to the tune of $14 trillion and counting. Despite our lame street media convincing Americans that banks were coerced into making bad loans, the truth was Wall Street intentionally sold junk (toxic) investments to highly paid investment directors and pension managers, like Gail Prizevoits at BSU. They were all looking for high rates of returns and got burned.

In BSU’s case, the administrators above Ms. Prizevoits didn’t even know one of the investment managers lost the money. Supposedly, she wired the $13.1 million to two different investment brokers and then hid it from her managers and even the State Board of Accounts. She was able to “hide it so well”, her managers, and husband, who is the vice president of risk management at BSU, didn’t even know from 2008 to 2011 that she had lost $13.1 million.

The University would like us to believe that a 60-year-old woman was a “renegade employee” who was able to hide the loss from executives she reported to, including her husband in the evening at home. She never told anybody even though the emails recovered from her computer said she was terrified and was fending off questions from the State Board of Accounts (sarcasm intended).

Yes, for three whole years nobody knew that millions of dollars were missing, including her husband who remains an executive at Ball State overseeing risk management.

The FBI alerted BSU in 2011 that they had been swindled by two separate con artists.  After doing a little research, administrators confirmed the loss, and Ms. Prizevoits was fired. No charges were filed against her or her husband. In fact, the former treasurer, now working in Florida, claimed the husband was an “innocent victim”. Well, according to BSU press releases, Gail Prizevoits and her husband also purchased a home in Florida after she was fired. In this case, once her husband (the poor victim) retires from BSU, he’ll be able to retire to Florida.

The press was never notified because BSU claims federal prosecutors told them to keep quiet while prosecution was sought against the two perpetrators who scammed Gail Prizevoits and the university. We contacted the NY district prosecuting attorney and they wouldn’t corroborate this claim.

Despite the multimillion dollar investment loss, the board of trustees still paid out bonuses to president Jo Ann Gora and department heads in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The board of trustees claimed to know about the investment loss, but still had no problem handing out bonuses. This does not sound very prudent of the board of trustees nor our conservative budget hawk, former governor Mitch Daniels.

In the recent Daily News article, Danielle Grady writes:

Since the 2011 fraud case, the university is missing about $12.6 million. A little less than half, $5.8 million, will be replaced using the university’s contingency fund, said Bernard Hannon, associate vice president for Business Affairs and assistant treasurer. The contingency fund is a reserve of money for the university to use for “unforeseen expenses.” Before the fraud case, it was up to $9.3 million, but is now down to $3.5 million. Hannon said Ball State usually aims to keep that fund around $9 to $10 million, although it varies. As the reserve is depleted, there is less room for mistakes and emergencies until it is built back up.

One of our local property owners, Joe Mumpower, a long time critic of BSU’s eminent domain practices around campus used to acquire real estate, continued putting the pressure on BSU administration. In the comment section, he wrote:

They all are guilty unless they name the supervising vice president which is paid $300,000.00 to see this does not happen. Gale got the job being a live in girl friend of the vice president of risk management. First job she ever had investing money and was paid a starting salary of $80,000.00 plus benefits. They still will not admit that she was sleeping with the vice president when she was hired, but now they got married after the $13.2 million came up missing. Inside criminals protecting each other.

Personally, I agree with Mr. Mumpower on his assessment, so I responded to his post using the Daily News Disqus comment section, and it’s been stuck in their “Pending Review” status ever since last Saturday evening.

Ball State Daily News

I decided to post it here, and add yet another case of a Central Indiana newspaper censoring our comments:

Ball State’s hiring practices are very well-known, so I don’t know how “this reckless lone ranger” got hired and then wasn’t monitored while she sent millions of cash via wire to an investment salesman from “Betts and Gambles” investment company, or how she was able to keep it from the department heads for “years”. It speaks volumes about the so-called software they have which is supposed to provide reasonable checks and balances over their employees. If you’re a student who owes them money, try enrolling for classes and see what happens. If you owe a $25.00 parking ticket and you want a copy of your transcript over 30 years after you graduate, see what happens. ;)

They really messed up and had NO intentions of telling the public. This was swept under the rug by Gora and Mitch Daniels and was not supposed to surface again. It did, but years later, so they white-washed the ordeal using The StarPress and Seth Slabaugh. Not one press conference to answer questions from real journalists who would make them answer tough questions. They hid behind their lawyers and the newspaper which grovels at their feet to make the universities namesake look like victims of a 60-year-old woman with no background in investments who was married to the VP of risk management.

To further white-wash the ordeal, the board hired Deb Daniels, the former governors sister to investigate it. LOL

If you go back to look at The StarPress article, when they wrote who would be investigating the loss, they never mentioned that Deb Daniels was Mitch’s sister. Anybody who thinks The StarPress is unbiased are ignorant. If you’ve read the shit they print, you are grossly misinformed. You’d be better informed if you cancelled your subscription and boycotted Gannett’s product throughout Indiana.

If you want to know why Hoosiers are so backward and misinformed, one need not look any further than The StarPress newspaper, and Gannett.

If Ball State was interested in the public knowing about the incident, they would have invited the local press to a press conference and revealed what they had known for three years. They didn’t. They immediately hid behind their lawyers at Defur Voran to insulate their neglect.

Censorship in Muncie, Indiana is alive and well, and the more truth you print, the more censorship you experience. There was a day when the press was about truth-seeking and sharing with the public. Now it’s all about public relations for monied interests and telling the public only what the Ruling Class wants us to know.

Unfortunately, as the direct consequence of censorship, Americans have been kept in the dark so unable to make informed decisions during election season.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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