A Drexel University professor has been charged with stealing $185,000 in government grant money to spend on Philadelphia strip clubs and iTunes

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Chika Nwankpa.

Philadelphia Police Department

  • A US college professor has been charged with stealing $185,000 in government grant money, and spending it on strip clubs, dining out, and iTunes.
  • Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, who taught electrical engineering at Drexel University, was charged with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office said.
  • The 57-year-old claimed that his expenses were legitimate, but district attorney Larry Krasner said 63% of over 100 receipts were issued between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m.
  • Nwankpa has since resigned from Drexel and agreed to pay back $53,328.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. 

A college professor in Pennsylvania has been charged with stealing $185,000 of government grant money and spending it at strip clubs and on iTunes purchases.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office charged 57-year-old Chikaodinaka Nwankpa with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception, according to a January 14 statement.

Nwankpa, who was arrested on January 13, taught electrical engineering at the private Drexel University and previously served as chairman of its engineering department.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said that the money was "allocated for research," but that Nwankpa spent it on "visits to area adult entertainment venues and sports bars, meals, and iTunes purchases."

"He betrayed Drexel University and tuition-paying students he was paid to educate," Krasner said.

The grant money had been allocated to the university by the Navy, Department of Energy, and National Science Foundation, ABC Philadelphia reported.

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Nwankpa stole the money incrementally between July 2007 and April 2017, NBC Philadelphia reported.

He claimed that the charges were legitimate work expenses, but the district attorney's office said 48% of more than 100 receipts were issued on weekends, and 63% of those were issued between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m.

The "adult entertainment venues" that Nwankpa visited in Philadelphia included Cheerleaders, Club Risqué and Tacony Club, NBC Philadelphia said.

Drexel University has already paid a $190,000 settlement in a separate federal investigation in relation to Nwankpa's case, CNN reported.

Nwankpa resigned his post after he was confronted by Drexel University officials in 2017, ABC said, and has agreed to pay back $53,328.

Nwankpa was released on a $25,000 bail, and has surrendered his passport. His preliminary hearing will take place on January 29.

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