Former WKU professor pleads guilty to fraud

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A former Western Kentucky University professor has pleaded guilty to stealing $236,000 from the school.

The Daily News in Bowling Green reports 52-year-old Matthew Dettman pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Thursday. A judge released him on his own recognizance and scheduled a sentencing hearing for Jan. 9. Dettman faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A plea agreement says local construction companies would pay Western Kentucky University’s engineering department to test concrete and soil. It says Dettman diverted $236,000 of those payments for his personal use between 2006 and October 2017. The agreement says Dettman will return the money to the school.

The school put Dettman on unpaid leave last year while the FBI investigated him. He resigned in December.