A Baltimore City Community College employee has been indicted on allegations that she directed student tuition payments into her personal bank account, the city prosecutor's office announced Thursday.

Michelle Campbell of Waldorf was indicted by a city grand jury on 13 counts charging her in a scheme that prosecutors say netted about $8,000. State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein will personally prosecute the case, his office said in a news release.


According to the state's attorney's office, Campbell worked as an administrative assistant at the school's Lombard Street campus, where her job included helping students register for courses that would lead to certificates in jobs such as pharmacy technicians, nursing assistants and teaching assistants.

Prosecutors say Campbell told students to make direct payments to her in the form of money orders and then cashed them or deposited them into her personal bank account. The students believed they were enrolled and completed the courses, but prosecutors say Campbell changed school records to reflect that the students had withdrawn from the courses.

News of the charges shocked Asta Hudson, one of 12 students allegedly victimized in the scheme. She said Thursday that she was unaware of the indictment and surprised Campbell was accused of personally cashing her $574 tuition payment.

"She seemed nice, and she seemed helpful. When you went there, she would do everything for you," Hudson said of Campbell. "But when it came to that money, I was confused, and when I called her, it was a different answer every time."

Campbell could not be reached for comment.

The indictment comes the same week that BCCC President Carolane Williams was forced out of her job in an abrupt move that she said came as a surprise. Board members said they had been contemplating a new leader since the summer, citing in part a decline in enrollment.

Patrick Onley, a college spokesman, said the school would not comment on whether the investigation played a role in the decision by the board to force Williams out.

Bernstein's office was first notified after "an internal investigation uncovered irregularities related to a number of tuition payments in the Business and Continuing Education Division," Onley said.

The college will continue to cooperate in the investigation and "is continuing to work on correcting the students' education records," he said.

The alleged thefts occurred between Feb. 26, 2010, and Sept. 25, 2011, prosecutors said.

Hudson's payment went missing in May 2011, according to the indictment. On Thursday, Hudson, who is from Ghana, said she worked directly with Campbell to pay for a nursing course by check, and that Campbell had told her to leave the payee line blank.

Days later, when Hudson dropped the course and asked for a refund, she said Campbell told her she would receive her money soon. Time after time over the phone, Campbell gave her different reasons why the refund hadn't been made, she said.

"It's been over a year now, and I was getting upset," she said.