Lifestyle & Belief

Long Island SAT cheating scandal widens


SAT test preparation books at a Barnes and Noble store in New York City.


Mario Tama

Thirteen more current and former Long Island, N.Y., high school students have been arrested and charged with cheating on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today.

The arrests follow the round-up in September of six students from Great Neck North High School in Mineola who had paid an Emory University sophomore between $1,500 and $2,500 to take the SAT for them. The Emory student, a Great Neck North alumnus, was also arrested and charged.

More from GlobalPost: Seven arrested in SAT cheating scandal

In today’s sweep, four graduates of Long Island high schools – Great Neck North High, North Shore Hebrew Academy and Great Neck South High – are accused of accepting between $300 and $3,600 to take the SAT or ACT for current highschoolers, CNN reported. All four have been charged with scheming to defraud in the first degree, criminal impersonation in the second degree and falsifying business records in the first degree.

Nine high school students are accused of paying the test-takers to take the SAT or ACT for them between 2008 and 2011, NBC New York reported. They face misdemeanor charges.

Rice told reporters at a press conference that prosecutors believe 40 students were involved in cheating but the two-year statute of limitation had expired for many, The Associated Press reported. “Honest hard-working students are taking a back seat to the cheaters,” she said. “This is a system begging for security enhancements.”

Thomas Ewing, spokesman for the Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT, told CNN that the College Board hired former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s firm Freeh Group International Solutions to review its test security procedures after the Long Island student cheating scandal broke in September. Procedures will be upgraded once the review is complete, Ewing said.

A lawyer for one defendant told NBC New York that the students should not be prosecuted. "When we glorify Wall Street guys who make money cheating and baseball players who take steroids, how can we condemn kids trying to achieve that same success?" attorney Michael DerGarabedian said.