WEST LAFAYETTE - A Purdue University professor and his wife have pleaded guilty last week to using more than $1 million in federal research funds for their own personal expenses.

Federal prosecutors say Qingyou Han of West Lafayette and his wife Lu Shao of Lakewood, Ohio pleaded guilty to a felony wire fraud charge in federal court in Hammond.

They had been scheduled to go to trial in U.S. District Court this week. They were indicted in July 2018. The federal government charged the husband and wife team of defrauding the National Science Foundation.

Prosecutors say the couple funneled money through Shao’s company, Hans Tech LLC, which served as a front to pay the couple’s expenses.

Qingyou Han is director of Purdue’s Center for Materials Processing Research and a professor of mechanical engineering technology

He and Shao applied for and received more than $1.3 million in grants from the NSF's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology programs.