Long Island students arrested in SAT cheating scandal

Seven high school students in Long Island, New York, were arrested Tuesday in an alleged SAT cheating scandal. Samuel Eshaghoff faces felony fraud charges, while six others are charged with misdemeanors.

Eshaghoff, 19, is accused of impersonating six Great Neck North High students between 2010 and 2011, in which he allegedly charged between $1,500 and $2,500 to take the SAT test for them. He supposedly used false identification and took the tests at schools other than Great Neck so he would not be recognized by test proctors. Prosecutors said he scored between 2140 and 2220 on the tests he took for the students, some of whom are already in college.

According to Kathleen Rice, Nassau County’s District Attorney, authorities underwent investigations after hearing rumors about the cheating. Suspects were identified when the test takers’ grade point averages were compared with their scores, in which wide discrepancies were found with six students.

The Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT test for The College Board, will now establish new methods to prevent cheating, such as photographing the students as they take the tests. Students will also have to show an admission ticket and photo ID, which can include a state-issued driver’s license, state-issued non-driver ID, school identification card, passport or other government-issued document.

According to USA Today, Eshaghoff has pleaded not guilty to charges of scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and falsifying business records. He is currently a student at Emory University in Atlanta after studying at the University of Michigan his freshman year. Eshaghoff posted $500 bail and is due back in court Oct. 11, potentially facing four years in prison if convicted.