HEMPSTEAD - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that seven teens have been arrested for their roles in a cheating ring that paid a college student thousands of dollars to take the SAT exam for them. Officials say all of the seven teens suspected in the cheating ring are current or former Great Neck North High School students. Rice says between 2010 and 2011, six students at the school paid 19-year-old Sam Eshaghoff, of Great Neck, between $1,500 and $2,500 each to take the SAT for them so they would achieve a higher score. Eshaghoff, now a student at Emory University, completed his freshman year at the University of Michigan. Officials say Eshagoff is a 2010 Great Neck North High School graduate. Prosecutors say Eshaghoff's clients registered to take the exam at different schools. Eshaghoff allegedly used an ID card with his photo and the students' names.According to Rice, Eshaghoff once flew home from college and took the SAT twice in a single weekend.
The district attorney's office says the cheating ring began unraveling earlier this year when school officials became suspicious and started checking student records, focusing on those with big discrepancies between students' grades and their SAT scores.Eshaghoff was arrested this morning and charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, falsifying business records in the second degree and criminal impersonation in the second degree. If convicted, Eshaghoff could face up to four years in prison. The six students who allegedly hired Eshaghoff have been arrested on misdemeanor charges. They are not being identified due to their ages and the nature of the charges.
Eshaghoff's attorney, Matin Emouna, says if his client was ever involved in any cheating, it should have been handled internally by the school's administration.
"No one else has ever had a case where kids were prosecuted criminally for cheating," he says.Bail has been set for Eshaghoff at $500 cash or $1,000 bond. The other six students have been released on their own recognizance.