Nigerian Professor Arrested For Spending $185k Research Money On Strippers

Chikaodinaka Nwankpa
Chikaodinaka Nwankpa

A Nigerian professor Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, who was a former Drexel University professor in Philadelphia, has been arrested.

According to reports, he was arrested after he spent federal grant money on strippers and made other ‘improper purchases.’

Nwankpa was arrested last week and charged with two counts of felony theft for allegedly stealing $185,000 in research grant funds, according to a release by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

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The suspect’s arrest is coming barely 3 months after he was accused of using the money on “adult entertainment venues and sports bars, meals, and iTunes purchases.” 

Nwankpa, who was the head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the time, was placed on administrative leave after an investigation began.

He, however, resigned later and repaid $53,328 to Drexel, prosecutors said in October.

“After a comprehensive investigation by our office’s Economic Crimes Unit, Mr. Nwankpa will have his day in court and will have to answer for his crimes. I’d like to thank Drexel University and the Drexel University Police Department for their work throughout this investigation,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement.

This new crime was uncovered after a university audit showed multiple unauthorized and “no receipt” purchases between 2010 and 2017, which he submitted for reimbursement using grant funds, according to the release.

Nwankpa spent more than $96,000 at adult entertainment venues and sports bars, according to the DA’s office. $89,000 was also spent on iTunes purchases, the release states.

“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,” Krasner said.

Drexel spokeswoman Niki Gianakaris told CNN: “Drexel takes allegations of unethical or unlawful business conduct on the part of any members of the University community very seriously. The University initially reported this situation to the US Attorney’s Office and has worked cooperatively with federal and state investigations into the matter.”

The professor has been released on bail and surrendered his passport. A preliminary hearing for his case is scheduled on January 29, 2020.


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