Nabih Bedewi, the GW professor arrested in October and accused of stealing nearly $1 million in federal funds, pleaded guilty to the charges in court Wednesday.
Bedewi, who headed GW’s National Crash Analysis Center until June, stood accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into a private company he part-owned. He is also suspected of using that money to pay for Washington Redskins tickets, a car and a Florida condominium.
“It is unfortunate that he chose the means he did to achieve personal ambitions and financial gain,” said Donald Lehman, GW’s executive vice president for Academic Affairs, in a statement released Thursday. “As a result of the discovery of Bedewi’s actions, the University has undergone a great deal of introspection.”
Partly in response to Bedewi’s malfeasance, GW has adopted stricter guidelines that require researchers to attend mandatory ethics training. Several University researchers have complained that the procedures are too excessive; administrators are discussing the complaints with the Faculty Senate.
The government suggested that Bedewi serve between 37 and 46 months in prison, though the maximum penalty for his crime is 10 years. GW did not play a role in the plea bargaining process.
“Bedewi has acknowledged his personal responsibility for his actions through his plea agreement,” Tracy Schario, GW’s director of media relations said in the statement.
The National Crash Analysis Center is a research facility at the University’s Virginia Campus financed mostly by Transportation Department grants.
Bedewi’s sentencing is scheduled for June 29.