More arrests from top schools expected in SAT cheating scandal
Two months after a Long Island high school graduate was arrested for taking college entrance exams for classmates, authorities are expected Tuesday to charge 13 additional students in connection with the widening cheating scandal.
The expected arrests are of students who graduated from some of the best suburban public high schools in the New York area, according to CBS New York, including Great Neck South, Great Neck North and Roslyn High School, as well as a Catholic school in Manhasset and a Jewish school in Great Neck.
In September, Nassau County Dist. Atty. Kathleen Rice charged 19-year-old Sam Eshagohoff, a Great Neck North graduate, for allegedly accepting payments of $1,500 to $2,500 from six students to take their SATs for them. Eshagoff allegedly used a fake ID and took the tests at locations where he wouldn't be recognized.
Eshagoff, who went to the University of Michigan and then transferred to Emory University, was charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, six counts of falsifying business records in the second degree, and six counts of criminal impersonation in the second degree. The six students who allegedly hired him were charged with misdemeanors.
In the latest arrests, New York state Sen. Ken LaValle, chairman of the Senate's committee on higher education, told CBS New York that the parents of the accused may also get roped into the scandal.
"There are parents that are complicit in this," LaValle said. "They are involved. You can’t tell me that students are walking around with $3,500."
District attorneys statewide should scrutinize high schools in their counties for such cheating, LaValle said.
Of the 13 Long Island students who are expected to surrender Tuesday, four are apparently accused of taking the tests fraudulently and nine of paying them to do so, according to the New York Post. Some could be charged with felonies for impersonation and accepting large sums.
Lawyers for the students apparently negotiated a date close to their Thanksgiving breaks from college.
School administrators have fully cooperated with authorities, news reports said.
Some students told CBS New York that they were not entirely surprised that the scandal has widened.
"This stuff has been going on for a very long time," said one student. "Everybody wants to succeed and go to the best college."
The New York Post is reporting that among those arrested will be a senior at Tulane University whose father is a prominent Long Island attorney.
After the first arrests, Rice, the district attorney, told reporters, "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."
— Geraldine Baum in New York
Photo: Sample SAT questions. Credit: Los Angeles Times