A former university professor in Philadelphia has been arrested for spending $200,000 of federal grant money on adult entertainment and bar tabs.
A former head of the electrical engineering department at Drexel University, Chikaodinaka Nwankpa admitted to using the funds on strip clubs when he was confronted by university officials.
Almost half of the money ($96,000), which derived from federal grants, was spent on strip clubs, according to prosecutors. Another $89,000 was spent on iTunes store and food.
The 57-year-old took the grant money from the Navy, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy, spending it over a period of seven years.
His wrongdoings only came to light when auditors working for the university found out Nwankpa had pursued reimbursements for ‘no receipt’ purchases.
Last year, the university is reported to have agreed to pay back the misused money to avoid a lawsuit, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The professor then resigned after being confronted over his crimes and also agreed to pay $55,328.
“Drexel takes allegations of unethical or unlawful business conduct on the part of any members of the university community very seriously and remains committed to being in full compliance with all billing regulations and requirements,” said a university spokesperson.
Nwankpa has been arrested and charged with theft but was freed on $25,000 bail.
“Mr. Nwankpa inappropriately and criminally diverted tens of thousands of dollars that were allocated for research purposes toward his own private enjoyment,” said district attorney Larry Krasner.
“He betrayed Drexel University and the tuition-paying students he was paid to educate.”
Nwankpa worked in the electrical and computer engineering department for 27 years before he resigned. His faculty biography describes him as one of Drexel’s top attractors of grant funds and also crediting him with securing over $10 million in research dollars.
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