Federal grants are typically used by institutions in order to fund projects like medical innovations or research, but if you’re former Drexel University professor Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, why splurge on boring-ass engineering studies when you can ball out on strippers and iTunes?
A former Drexel University professor faces criminal charges after allegedly stealing $185,000 in research grant money and using it at adult entertainment venues and on purchases for iTunes, meals and other expenses.
Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, 57, was charged this week with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception, both felonies, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
Nwankpa is the former chairman of the university’s Engineering Department, a news release said. It was unclear how the grant money was earmarked to be used.
“Mr. Nwankpa inappropriately and criminally diverted tens of thousands of dollars that were allocated for research purposes toward his own private enjoyment,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “He betrayed Drexel University and tuition-paying students he was paid to educate.”
Prosecutors revealed that between July 2007 and April 2017, Nwankpa allegedly hustled the school out of a jaw-dropping $189,062, $53,328 of which he has since repaid.
After an investigation was launched into the misuse of funds, Nwankpa was placed on administrative leave. An audit revealed multiple unauthorized purchases and strip club expenses that Nwankpa swore were merely catering and food costs.
Strippers weren’t his only vice though, as CNN notes:
He spent more than $96,000 on adult entertainment venues and sports bars as well as more than $89,000 on iTunes purchases, meals and other unauthorized purchases, the release said. Many of the charges were processed between midnight and 2 a.m., the district attorney’s office said.
In what comes as a surprise to no one, the nutty professor has since resigned.
“This is an example of flagrant and audacious fraud, and a shameful misuse of public funds,” US Attorney William McSwain said. “The agencies providing these grant funds expect them to be used towards advancements in energy and naval technology for public benefit, not for personal entertainment.”
In order to prevent the Nwankpas of the world from pulling this type of shit in the future, the school has introduced auditing procedures that will hopefully keep their research grants out of your friendly neighborhood gentlemen’s club.
After posting $25,000 bail last week, Nwankpas is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 29.