A star Hunter College psychology professor who quit amid claims he threw out-of-control parties and snorted cocaine at school events has admitted he used federal grant money to fund his lavish lifestyle — including scuba diving trips in the Caribbean.
Jeffrey Parsons, a former leading sex and drug researcher at the school, will now have to pay $375,000 back as part of a civil-suit settlement agreement with the Department of Justice filed in Manhattan federal court on Monday.
The public college will also repay $200,000 in funds that had been earmarked for its Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training, known as CHEST, which Parsons headed before he quit in July 2019.
The center received funds from the National Institute of Health, which Parsons and Hunter misused from 2010 to 2018, according to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
Parsons, once a prized faculty member, used the grant money to square his personal expenses, including international flights for his family, a tropical birthday celebration and scuba trips to locales such as the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica and Belize.