Crime & Courts

Former Pittsburg State official sentenced for wire fraud, money laundering

The former director of the master’s of business administration program at Pittsburg State University has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering.

He has also been ordered to pay $148,430 in restitution.

Michael Muoghalu, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. He admitted to the crimes, which occurred when he was managing the graduate student exchange program between Pittsburg State University and Nigerian schools.

Muoghalu and a Nigerian associate created fictitious documents and gave them to Pittsburg State University, saying certain Nigerian students had completed their undergraduate work and were eligible to take part in the university’s Nigerian exchange student program, according to a news release issued by U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.

While Nigerian students are required to pay a deposit at the time they are accepted into the exchange student program, the university refunds a portion of the student’s deposit. According to the release, Muoghalu would tell the Nigerian students they were to pay him or his associates a fee for representing them in the admission process.