Chika Nwankpa, a former professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has been charged with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception. Nwankpa, who was the head of Drexel University’s electrical engineering department, embezzled grant money from the Navy, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy over a 10 year time span. Between the years 2010 and 2017, Nwankpa spent about $96k in federal grant funds at adult entertainment venues and sports bars and another $89k in iTunes purchases and meals. The university announced that they discovered the fraud in 2017 amid an internal audit. When Nwankpa was confronted by university officials, he admitted to the expenses and resigned his post. District Attorney Larry Krasner stated, “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.” Nwankpa faces up to 14 years in prison if he is convicted on both counts.
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