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Former BGSU financial aid coordinator indicted

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BOWLING GREEN — A former Bowling Green State University employee was indicted Thursday by a Wood County grand jury on charges she altered two students' financial aid records, enabling them to receive financial assistance they shouldn't have received.

Gail Houtz, 45, of Wayne, Ohio, was indicted on two counts each of theft in office and tampering with records for conduct that occurred between Jan. 1, 2016 and July 21, 2017.

Special Prosecutor Tim Braun said while working as a senior financial aid coordinator at BGSU, Ms. Houtz “used her position in the financial aid office to divert resources to people who shouldn't have gotten them.”

He said she made alterations in the records of two students who “ended up getting grants and other financial aid they otherwise wouldn't have been eligible for.”

According to a statement from BGSU, Ms. Houtz started working for the university in 1999. She was suspended after the irregularities were discovered and the matter was referred to the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office. Ms. Houtz resigned Oct. 9 while the criminal investigation was under way.

“Since this matter is now the subject of an ongoing criminal prosecution, the university will not comment further,” the statement read.

While employed at BGSU, Ms Houtz served for a time as chairman of the university's Classified Staff Council, which represented some 600 classified employees.

In 2014, she received the Outstanding Service Award at the annual Classified Staff Council reception and awards ceremony.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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