A former university professor in Philadelphia spent $190k of federal grant money on strip clubs and other individual expenses. The prosecutors on October 7 said that he misused the funds issued by the United States government. The U.S. attorney’s office said that the professor named Chika Nwankpa exploited the benefits the Navy, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation provided for over a decade. Drexel University found out about the supposed fraud about 2 years ago at the time of an internal audit. The private research university then warned the government about it.
These funds are given by the state as an award to the recipient to carry out a public motive of support or stimulation authorized by the law. A major amount of the grants were used upon strip clubs and sports bars of Philadelphia, according to reports. “This is an example of flagrant and audacious fraud and a shameful misuse of public funds,” said U.S. Attorney William McSwain. “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”. He said that agencies grant these finances for advancement in energy and naval technology for the benefit of people and not just an individual. He also appreciated the University for disclosing the fraud and even showed his disappointment that such an act was not caught before and it went on for a long period.
The university said yes to pay the $189,000 ordered by the court which will help it escape any legal action against it since the professor used Governmental funds in clubs. Drexel in a statement said it has taken the allegations of unethical or unlawful business conduct really seriously. It also added that it has enhanced the University auditing controls. The prosecutors in the case said that the former professor paid back over $53,000. He gave his resignation to the university and has been prohibited to get any federal contract for a period of 6 months. He did not get charged with any crime as for now.
(With inputs from AP)