A former director of the masters of business administration program at Pittsburg State University was sentenced Monday, June 8 to 18 months in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. He was ordered to pay $148,430 in restitution.
Michael Muoghalu, 61, Pittsburg, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. In his plea, he admitted the crimes occurred while he was responsible for managing the graduate student exchange program between Pittsburg State University and schools in Nigeria.
Muoghalu and an associate in Nigeria created fictitious documents and presented them to Pittsburg State representing that certain Nigerian students had completed undergraduate work and were eligible to take part in the university’s Nigerian exchange student program.
Pittsburg State required the Nigerian students to pay a deposit at the time they were initially accepted into the program. Later, the university would refund a portion of the student’s deposit. After the refund was authorized, Muoghalu falsely represented to Nigerian students that they must pay him or his associates a fee for representing them in the admission process.
Grissom commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger for their work on the case.