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Professor Arrested For Spending $200,000 Of Public Money On Strippers And iTunes

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 17 Jan 2020 14:47
Professor Arrested For Spending $200,000 Of Public Money On Strippers And iTunesProfessor Arrested For Spending $200,000 Of Public Money On Strippers And iTunesPhiladelphia District Attorney's Office/PA

A former university professor has been arrested for allegedly blowing almost $200,000 (£153,000) of federal grant money on strip clubs and iTunes purchases.

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Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, former head of the electrical engineering department of Drexel University in Philadelphia, admitted to misusing funds when he was confronted by university officials last year.

According to prosecutors, nearly half the money ($96,000), which came from federal grants, was spent on adult entertainment and bar tabs. The 57-year-old is alleged to have spent another $89,000 on food and iTunes purchases.

Professor Arrested For Spending $200,000 Of Public Money On Strippers And iTunesProfessor Arrested For Spending $200,000 Of Public Money On Strippers And iTunesPhiladelphia District Attorney's Office

Prosecutors say Nwankpa took the grant money from the Navy, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, spending it over a seven-year period, which began in 2010.

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His crimes first came to light in 2017 when auditors working for the university discovered he had pursued reimbursements for several ‘no receipt’ purchases.

In October last year, the university is said to have agreed to repay the misused money to avoid a lawsuit from the US Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Nwankpa resigned after being confronted over his improper spending, as well as agreeing to pay $55,328 towards the huge bill.

At the time, a university spokesperson said:

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.

Nwankpa has been charged with theft and was later freed on $25,000 bail.

Professor Arrested For Spending $200,000 Of Public Money On Strippers And iTunesProfessor Arrested For Spending $200,000 Of Public Money On Strippers And iTunesPexels

In a statement, district attorney Larry Krasner said:

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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 the tuition-paying students he was paid to educate.

A preliminary hearing for his case has been scheduled in for January 29.

Nwankpa spent 27 years working in the electrical and computer engineering department before his resignation in 2017. His faculty biography cites him as being one of Drexel’s top attractors of grant funds, as well as crediting him with securing more than $10 million in research dollars during his long career.

According to the district attorney’s office, 48% of the 114 separate charges were done on weekends and 63% were processed between the hours of midnight and 2am.

If found guilty for theft in the state of Philadelphia, you can face up to five years in prison or a $1,999 fine.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Drexel University, Philidelphia, Research funding, strip clubs, Theft

Credits

The Philadelphia Inquirer
  1. The Philadelphia Inquirer

    Ex-Drexel prof charged with spending $96,000 in research funds on strip clubs