Researcher sentenced for charging $82K on UNH credit card

May 1, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A former University of New Hampshire researcher has been sentenced to two years of probation for misusing a credit card for federal research grant expenses to charge more than $82,000 worth of merchandise, including clothing, video games, and a snow blower.

The sentence includes 10 months of home detention for 46-year-old Hailong Zhang.

Prosecutors said he submitted fictitious receipts for the expenses. The university made payments on the card and obtained reimbursement from the National Institutes of Health, which provided the grant.

Zhang was a research project manager for UNH’s College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. He was indicted on charges of using the credit card to buy the items from Amazon.com. He pleaded guilty in December.

The FBI said the stolen money should have been used to advance important scientific research projects.