Emory student arrested in New York SAT test-taking scam

Updates: lack of security an issue. To read more, click here.  College Board moves to tighten security. Click here.

Sounds like the classic American story of rich kids paying smart kid to do their work, bragging about it, and getting turned in by their classmates.

From the Associated Press, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

GARDEN CITY, N.Y.  — A Emory University student from New York was paid between $1,500 and $2,500 to stand in for at least a half dozen students attending a prestigious Long Island high school and take the SAT exam for them, a prosecutor said Tuesday in announcing criminal charges in the case.

Six students were also arrested Tuesday on misdemeanor charges, although authorities said the investigation remained active and that other high school students in the area may also have been involved.

Sam Eshaghoff, 19, of Great Neck was facing arraignment after being arrested on charges of scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and falsifying business records, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement.

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Rice said that between 2010 and 2011, six students at Great Neck North High School paid him to take the SAT in hopes of achieving a higher score. The six students implicated in the case were not identified because of their ages, a spokesman for the prosecutor said.

Earlier this year, 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.

The students had registered to take the tests at a different school where they would not be recognized. Eshaghoff then went to the schools and showed a photo ID with his picture, but another student’s name on it, Rice said. At least once, Eshaghoff flew home from college primarily to impersonate two students and took the SAT twice in one weekend.

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