A Nigerian engineering professor at the University of Drexel, Philadelphia, Chikaodinaka Nwankpa has been accused of spending a federal grant on strip clubs and other “improper purchases”.
The grant that the 56-year-old Nigerian professor spent on strippers was issued by the Navy, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
The money was supposed to help with energy, science and naval research, but the fraud perpetrated by Nwankpa, which was barely modest in its extracurricular research, was discovered by the University’s auditors in 2017. In total, it was discovered that Nwankpa had spent $ 189.062. .
Opposite, the head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering admitted unauthorized expenses, resigned and agreed to pay $ 53,328, less than a third of the total bill accumulated.
The Justice Department announced on Monday 7 October that the University had accepted a $ 190,000 agreement to defend itself against a possible cause. A university spokesman said that Drexel denounced Nwankpa’s misconduct with the authorities and cooperated in the investigation. Since then, the school has established additional training for teachers and staff and has strengthened audit controls.
“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,” spokesperson Niki Gianakaris said.
Nwankpa has been barred from federal contracting for six months, prosecutors said, but he has not been charged with a crime. A spokesperson for U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain’s office said Monday’s settlement did not preclude prosecution of Nwankpa.
“This is an example of flagrant and audacious fraud, and a shameful misuse of public funds,” said McSwain, whose office negotiated the agreement with Drexel after an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the inspectors general of the U.S. Energy Department and the National Science Foundation.
The Nigerian Professor spent 27 years teaching in Drexel’s electrical and computer engineering department, chairing it from 2015 until he left. He was among the university’s top attractors of research grant funds, boasting in his faculty bio that he had landed more than $10 million in research money throughout his career.