MINEOLA, N.Y. — Four students face prison time for their roles in an SAT cheating scandal out of Great Neck North High School in Long Island, prosecutors say. Joshua Chefec, 20, Adam Justin, 19, and George Trane, 19, surrendered to investigators this morning, according to Nassau County
District Attorney Kathleen Rice. Michael Pomerantz, 18, will turn himself in on Monday, she said. The four allegedly used fake IDs to take SAT and ACT tests on behalf of fellow students in exchange for payments of up to $3,600. Police arrested nine other students today for paying to have the SAT or ACT test taken for them, Rice said.
Investigators uncovered the cheating ring early this year after rumors of students paying a third party to take the test spread to faculty of Great Neck North High, Rice said. She said students registered at schools where the proctor could not positively identify them, then paid former and fellow students large sums to complete the test in their stead. School administrators picked out the nine paying students after noticing a drastic difference between their grade point average and their SAT scores, the D.A. said.
“Educating our children means more than teaching them facts and figures. It means teaching them honesty, integrity, and a sense of fair play,” Rice said. “The young men and women arrested today instead chose to scam the system and victimize their own friends and classmates, and for that they find themselves in handcuffs.”
Chefec, Justin, Pomerantz and Trane face up to four years in jail for first-degree scheme to defraud, second-degree falsification of business records and second-degree criminal impersonation. The nine other students will be tried as juveniles for misdemeanor offenses.
Kevin R. Ryan, director of communications at the Queens District Attorney’s Office said he could neither confirm nor deny investigations. Matin Emouna, an attorney for one of the four main defendants was not available for comment.