For 10 years, Dr. Chikaodinaka D. Nwankpa, former head of Drexel University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, submitted improper charges against government grants for iTunes purchases and “goods and services” provided by Cheerleaders, Club Risque, and Tacony Club, all described as “gentlemen’s clubs”, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Now, Drexel University has agreed to pay back $189,062 to the U.S. government after it was discovered the former professor used the funds at the various Philadelphia-area strip clubs. The press release states the money in question came from eight federal grants that were supposed to be for energy and naval technology research.
Nwankpa was discovered during a 2017 internal audit and once confronted, he reportedly admitted to the unauthorized expenses and agreed to pay back $53,328, less than a third of the overall total. He resigned from his post shortly after.
U.S. Attorney William McSwain called the allegations “an example of flagrant and audacious fraud and a shameful misuse of public funds.” He added, “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.”
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Nwankpa spent 27 years teaching in Drexel’s electrical and computer engineering department, becoming the department chair in 2015 and remaining until his premature resignation. During that time, he was among the university’s top attractors of research grant funds, landing more than $10 million in research money throughout his career as stated in his faculty bio.