Two more students have surrendered themselves, making a grand total of 20 arrests in this year’s SAT/ACT scandal, according to the Nassau County, New York, district attorney’s office, writes Kristina Sgueglia at CNN.
This now means a total of five “test takers” and 15 “payers” have been charged in the standardized testing scandal, including scholastic star Sam Eshaghoff, 19, who was charged for accepting money to complete the test for six other current and former students.
The scandal spans across the whole of Long Island, says John Byrne, communication director to the Nassau County District Attorney. The guilty students are being charged with scheming to defraud in the first degree, criminal impersonation in the second degree, and falsifying business records in the first degree.
The two new arrests were made after Michael Pomerantz, 18, a “test taker” who received a 1710 on an SAT exam he took for another student, surrendered at 7 a.m along with another student “payer,” whose identity is concealed because of age, who will face misdemeanor charges.
No one is ruling out more arrests, but the district attorney wants to now focus on developing procedures to enhance test security and to ensure that Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT, and ACT adequately report confirmed instances of cheating.
Both the ETS and ACT have been keen to spell out that they’re cooperating, and will continue to cooperate with the district attorney’s office.
The ETS is in the middle of conducting their own review of test-security protocols while the ACT has announced it would incorporate additional security enhancements for upcoming exams.
Prosecutors have been keen to target students who solicited the cheating service. Eshaghoff was paid between $1,500 and $2,500 for taking the tests and allegedly used fake student identity cards to access the exams.
“This is a national epidemic not limited to New York,” said Eshaghoff’s lawyer, Matin Emouna.
”These matters should be handled administratively at the local districts.”