A Nigerian-born academic, Dr. Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, has been accused of spending $190,000 federal grant meant for research in strip clubs and on other ‘improper purchases’.
Prosecutors alleged on Monday that Nwankpa, former Head of Department at Drexel University in the US, used the grant from the Navy, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation, to pay off hefty tabs at gentleman’s clubs and sports bars.
Nwankpa reportedly also spent the money on iTunes, Daily Mail reports.
The university is said to have discovered the alleged fraud in 2017 during an internal audit and alerted the government.
Speaking on the allegation, US Attorney William McSwain said: “This is an example of flagrant and audacious fraud and a shameful misuse of public funds. 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.”
Altogether, it was discovered that Nwankpa laundered a total of $189,062, which had been intended for energy, science, and naval research.
He was said to have admitted to the crime and resigned from his post after 27 years of work at the university.
Nwankpa also agreed to pay back $53,328 — less than a third of the overall bill he ran up.
US authorities have not instituted a charge against him.
The lecturer was, however, barred from government contract for six months.