Former University of Kentucky Professor Sentenced for Wire Fraud
LEXINGTON — Dongping “Daniel” Tao, a former mining engineering professor at the University of Kentucky, who previously admitted to defrauding the University and a private company out of tens of thousands of dollars, has been sentenced to one year in prison.
Today, U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell sentenced Tao, 52, for wire fraud. In addition to the 12-month term of incarceration, Judge Caldwell ordered that Tao pay a $10,000 fine, $59,411.86 in restitution to the University, and $2,280.00 in restitution to Georgia-Pacific, LLC, a private company for whom he worked as a consultant.
At his guilty plea in February of this year, Tao admitted that he received grant money from the University that was intended for mining engineering research, but used the money for his consulting business, paying for travel, materials, and services.
Tao then sought payment from his consulting clients, as reimbursement for expenses that he had actually used the University’s money to pay. Tao also admitted that he fabricated and altered invoices, to show fictitious costs, and submitted those invoices to the University and Georgia-Pacific for payment. Tao then received payment for these fraudulent expenses.
Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Howard Marshall, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, jointly announced the sentence. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the University Police Department, and the University Internal Audit Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew T. Boone prosecuted this case on behalf of the federal government.