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UC Irvine professor spent $400,000 of school funds on cameras used for Instagram posts

A UC Irvine medical school professor spent $400,000 of public funds for cameras he used for Instagram posts, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The professor, Frank P.K. Hsu,  often used “suspicious” or “unauthorized” means to make the purchases, auditors found, according to the Times. The university pays him $1.2. million a year.

Auditors also discovered that Hsu had a personal website on which he had hundreds of photos for sale, some priced at hundreds of dollars, according to the newspaper.

A UCI spokesman told the Times that Hsu had now repaid the university $404,000 and that “appropriate corrective measures” were taken.

But an ethicist said if the same unauthorized purchases had happened at a private company, the employee “almost certainly would be fired.”

“When the consequences are nothing more than, ‘Oh, you got caught so say you’re sorry and give it back, it sends the wrong message,” Michael Josephson, head of the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Playa del Rey, told the Times

“The consequences should be significant enough that somebody in a similar situation would say it’s not worth it,” he said.