Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, a former head of Drexel University’s electrical engineering department, squandered hundreds of thousands of federal research funds on strip clubs and other personal expenses
Chika Nwankpa misappropriated $190,000 grant money from the Navy, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation over a period of 10 years.
In total, Nwankpa was found to have misspent a total of $189,062, which had been intended for energy, science, and naval research.
Drexel, where Nwankpa worked as head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, discovered the alleged fraud in 2017 during an internal audit and alerted the government.
Investigations show that the professor, who had hardly been modest about his extracurricular research, spent most of the money on strip clubs and sports bars in the Philadelphia area.
According to government lawyers, the professor submitted several improper charges against his federal grants for ‘goods and services’ billed at strip clubs, including Club Risque, Cheerleaders, and the Tacony Club, spanning from 2007 until 2017.
When confronted, Nwankpa decided to bare all. He admitted the unauthorized expenses, resigned his post, and agreed to pay back $53,328 — less than a third of the overall bill he ran up.
Drexel has agreed to pay $189,000 to resolve its potential civil liability in the case. The university said in a statement that it fully cooperated with the government investigation and since then it has improved its auditing controls.
Meanwhile, Nwankpa was barred from federal contracting for six months, prosecutors said, but he has not been charged with a crime.
Nwankpa has worked at Drexel for 27 years until his 2017 resignation.
During that time at the school, he was considered among the university’s top contractors of research grant funds, boasting in his faculty bio that he landed more than $10 million in research money across his career.
An online profile for Nwankpa says he is now self-employed as an engineering consultant.
Meanwhile, KanyiDaily had reported that a young Nigerian student raped a fellow student who came to watch a movie in his room in the United States.
Onyekackukwu Chukwuebuk Igwilo, 20, is charged with first-degree rape, attempted first-degree rape, false imprisonment and first- and second-degree assault.