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Tutor In Cheating Scandal Free After Posting $200,000 Bail

Tutor In Orange County Cheating Scandal Free After Posting $200,000 Bail

The tutor who led a cheating scandal at an Orange County High School has been released from jail after posting a $200,000 bail and his arraignment postponed. 

Timothy Lance Lai was arrested on Monday for leading a cheating scandal that led to the expulsion of 11 students and resignation of a district administrator, said an article on Lai, the article said, "is accused of helping the students obtain the passwords and log-on information of teachers in order to hack into the district computer system to change the students' grades and access exams."

"Authorities say he instructed students to insert a USB device into two teachers' computers, recording the instructors' keystrokes," the article said. "He is accused of accessing the school's network from April 1, 2013, to June 14, 2013, using the information from the devices and changing the grades of three students."

Lai provided students with "English, science, and history exams, some at the honors and Advanced Placement levels," the article said. "Parents of students at the school said Lai profited from the school's culture of high academic achievement, charging upward of $45 an hour for his services."

In June 2013, a teacher at the high school found that "some grades were changed and contacted school administrators." Police identified Lai and the students and went to Lai's home the next day, "but he was gone," officials said.

"We have not had any contact with him before today," Newport Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said on Monday after Lai's arrest. Authorities "seized four USB thumb drives, several electronic devices, a cellphone, a notepad bearing students' names, a notebook containing multiple tests with a female student's name written on it, schoolwork, routers and several exams, according to the property report attached to the search warrant in the case."

If convicted, the article said, Lai faces "a maximum sentence of five year and eight months in prison."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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