Researcher pleads guilty to charging $82K on UNH credit card

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) A former University of New Hampshire researcher has pleaded guilty to misusing a credit card for federal research grant expenses to charge more than $82,000 worth of merchandise, including clothing, video games and a snowblower.

Prosecutors say 46-year-old Hailong Zhang 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.

U.S. Attorney Scott Murray said the stolen money should have been used to advance important scientific research projects.

Zhang will be sentenced on March 29, 2019.

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