Seven New York teenagers were busted Tuesday for their roles in a cheating scam that involved a college student being paid to impersonate high-schoolers and take their SAT exams, officials said.
According to ABC News, at least six students at Great Neck North High School allegedly paid 19-year-old Sam Eshaghoff, a Emory University Student who graduated from Great Neck in 2010, anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 to take the college-entry test for them.
“Colleges look for the best and brightest students, yet these six defendants tried to cheat the system and may have kept honest and qualified students from getting into their dream school,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. “These arrests should serve as a warning to those taking the SAT this Saturday that if you cheat, you can face serious criminal consequences.”
The SAT scandal was uncovered after Great Neck North faculty members heard rumors that students had paid a third party to take the SAT for them, Rice said. Administrators then identified six students who “had large discrepancies between their academic performance records and their SAT scores,” the prosecutor said.
Investigators said the six students – whose names are being withheld due to their ages – registered to take the test at a different school where their faces would not be known to the proctors.
Eshaghoff then went to the schools and showed a photo ID with his picture, but another student’s name on it, Rice said.
Eshaghoff, charged with scheme to defraud, falsifying business records and criminal impersonation, faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
The six Great Neck students who were arrested were released without having to post bail.