Probation to end early for man who misused UNH credit card

March 18, 2020 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A judge agreed to cut a two-year probation in half for a former University of New Hampshire researcher who pleaded guilty to stealing money from federal research grants.

Prosecutors said Jichun Zhang, 47, submitted fictitious receipts for nearly $7,000 in expenses on a credit card. The university made payments and obtained reimbursement from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which provided the grant.

Zhang was a research associate professor for UNH’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space.

He pleaded guilty in December 2018. Prosecutors said he paid back the money.

His probation is scheduled to end on March 26.

Jichun, who is married, is a self-employed online tutor and stay-at-home father to a teenage daughter, with an older daughter in college, his attorney said in court documents. He has no issues with drugs or alcohol, no mental health issues, no history of violence, and no recent arrests, convictions, or ongoing patterns of criminal conduct.

Jichun’s probation officer and the U.S. attorney’s office agreed to the early release from probation.