by Jon Street
Pennsylvania professor has been arrested and charged after it was revealed that he allegedly misspent federal research money at strip clubs.
Former Drexel University professor Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, who resigned from his post in October after a university audit discovered he had spent $185,000 in federal research money at strip clubs was arrested and charged Monday with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception, the U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said.
“Mr. Nwankpa inappropriately and criminally diverted tens of thousands of dollars that were allocated for research purposes toward his own private enjoyment. He betrayed Drexel University and tuition-paying students he was paid to educate. After a comprehensive investigation by our office’s Economic Crimes Unit, Mr. Nwankpa will have his day in court and will have to answer for his crimes,” the D.A. said.
As Campus Reform previously reported, Drexel University in October agreed to pay more than $189,000 in order to avoid any further liabilities. Nwankpa agreed to repay $53,328 and was also barred from working under federally-funded research projects for six months.
Drexel University received $70,921,000 in federal research funding in 2017, according to a Campus Reform analysis.
In addition to allegedly spending more than $96,000 in federal taxpayer dollars at strip clubs and sports bars between 2010 and 2017, Nwankpa allegedly spent an additional $89,000 on iTunes, meals, and other personal expenditures that were not authorized.
According to the D.A., Nwankpa paid for the expenses and then sought reimbursement by claiming “no receipt.” Sixty-three percent of the charges he claimed for reimbursement were made between midnight and 2 a.m., the D.A.’s office said.
After his arrest, Nwankpa posted $25,000 bail and surrendered his passport. His first court appearance is scheduled for January 29.
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Jon Street is the Managing Editor of CampusReform.org.