New York Students Caught in SAT Cheating Ring

At least six high school students allegedly paid a college student to take their SAT exam

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The price of academic success (Image: Thinkstock)

While many high school students are hitting the books to prepare for the SAT exam, a Long Island cheating ring surfaced with an Emory University sophomore, Sam Eshaghoff, at the helm. The 19-year-old was busted for charging between $1,500 and $2,500 to take the nearly four hour long exam from six current and former Great Neck North High School students, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

“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,” Rice said in a statement. “These arrests should serve as a warning to those taking the SAT this Saturday that if you cheat, you can face serious criminal consequences.”

Eshaghoff reportedly scored between 2220 and 2140 on a possible 2400 scale on the tests. He was arraigned on charges of scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and falsifying business records.  His bail was set at $1000 bond or $500 cash.  The six students, who’s identities are not being released, were also arrested Tuesday on misdemeanor charges, but were all released on their own recognizance.

The students registered to take the exam at a different school where they would not be recognized; Eshaghoff would show up to take the exam, showing a photo ID with the students name and his picture.

His attorney, Matin Emouna, says his client is not guilty. “He has cooperated with the investigation, and he denies the charges,” Emouna said

The investigation remains active.

What do you think? How has the pressure to succeed caused students to take on a “by any means” approach to excelling academically? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

  • BrothaTech

    I don’t think it’s pressure. I think this guy saw an opportunity to make some dough, and the students who paid for the service saw an opportunity to enhance their high-school stats.

    Whether bad or good, most people when presented with what seems like a decent opportunity will take it…no pressure needed.

  • Howard

    I remember an article not too long ago about a student in Japan cheating on entrance tests by posting the questions on Yahoo! Answers from his phone during the tests. Someone picked up on the fact that the questions posted online by the person’s alias were during times of the examinations. At the very least, these examples show how resourceful students can be these days.

  • concerned parent

    I personally know a family who lives in Upper Brookville, Long Island just outside of Great Neck who got help for their son. The father complained all year about the son failing, having to transfer him from school to school and his poor performance. One day, with a smirk on his face, he says “wow my son couldn’t pass a class all year but he almost maxed the SAT”. The children and the parents are to blame. This is not some “act” of cheating by a small group of students. It is the feeling of entitlement by the parents. The parents sought out the last resort to get a good grade for stupid children. This particular parent I know never himself graduated from high school. He just happened to get lucky and make a lot of money. Rich long Island parents not only have been buying grades for their stupid children for years. They routinely sell and pass around exams for city jobs. It’s who you know. Thank God for giving the hard working inner city children an equal chance to get into a good college without competing with these dummies with the money.

    • Tammy Delbruegge

      Why not publish the names of the students that paid this guy to take the test for them. They certainly did their part in the crime.

    • Lauren Hahn

      “Who’s identities are not being released.” Whose? Is there an editor in the house?

  • MK

    Oh I see- when Public Officials Commit Crimes its a “Group”. When the average civilian with friends does something its a “Ring of People”..
    Officials need to be held accountable to RICCIO along with Other Organized Crime Laws how they hold Law Abiding Citizens to..! This Double Standard MUST STOP!!

    • Ian

      Einstein cheated but nobody complains! He didn’t discover E=MC2 it was Olinto de Pretto in Italy two years earlier – and he fudged his relativity mathematics too.

      I’d rather criticise the cynical and ignorant educationalists for their double standards than those poor kids who are their victims. As long as Einstein is held up as the epitome of academic and intellectual success then the only way forward is to cheat.

  • Kammi Kameen

    Here’s a better way to cheat the SAT:
    Two candidates go in, both take the SAT.
    At the end, they write eachother’s details in their answer transcripts. I.e. they flip the details.
    Thereafter, the person who was the “helper” cancels their score, the person who paid up keeps theirs.
    It works out perfectly, hasn’t been caught and even when you bring it up to the SAT authorities, they don’t do much about it.