Ex-University of Kentucky professor pleads guilty to fraud

guilty plea

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A former University of Kentucky mining engineering professor who prosecutors say defrauded the university out of tens of thousands of dollars in items and services has pleaded guilty.

The U.S. attorney’s office said 54-year-old Dongping "Daniel" Tao pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud Thursday before U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell.

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Prosecutors said in a news release that Tao also admitted that he defrauded Georgia-Pacific LLC, a company he worked for as a consultant.

The release said Tao acknowledged receiving grant money from the university intended for research and using it instead for his consulting business to pay expenses, for which he then sought reimbursement.

The plea agreement indicates he fraudulently obtained more than $59,000 from the university and $2,280 from Georgia-Pacific between 2010 and 2013.

Sentencing will be June 11.


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