Eleven young adults, including three men who authorities say posed as students and took the SAT for others in exchange for money, surrendered to authorities at New York's Nassau County District Attorney's Office this morning to face felony charges in a college entrance exam cheating scandal that continues to grow.
"Educating our children means more than teaching them facts and figures. It means teaching them honesty, integrity and a sense of fair play," Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said today in Mineola, Long Island. "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."
Joshua Chefec, 20; Adam Justin, 19; and George Trane, 19, were escorted by their parents as they turned themselves in to investigators on Long Island. The fourth accused man, Michael Pomerantz, 18, is expected to turn himself in Monday.
Authorities said the men headed up a cheating ring that charged students $3,500 in exchange for them taking the SAT or ACT. Prosecutors said that eight of the nine students who paid the four to take the tests surrendered as well today. They could all face misdemeanor charges.
Kathleen Fineout Steinberg of the College Board said the agency and Educational Testing Services would continue to review its security enhancements. The ETS hired a firm led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh to determine whether its security procedures were deficient.
"The Freeh Group has begun its work, but additional details about the review are not yet available," she told ABC News.
This scam involved current or former students at Roslyn High School, St. Mary's in Manhassett, Great Neck South and North Shore Hebrew Academy in Great Neck.
The charges follow the September bust of a ring allegedly led by Emory University student Sam Eshaghoff, who prosecutors say charged $1,500 to $2,500 to take the tests for six students. The students, who knew one another from Great Neck North High School, were also charged.
Eshaghoff faces up to four years in prison on charges of a scheme to defraud in the first degree, falsifying business records in the second degree and criminal impersonation in the second degree. The six students were charged with misdemeanors and face up to a year in jail.
In 2011, 138 scores were canceled after ETS concluded that individuals had cheated on the exam. More than 2 million students take the test each year, according to the College Board website.
When ETS receives a report of cheating -- typically from students or principals -- it investigates the allegations. If cheating is uncovered, the student's scores are canceled and the information is given to the district attorney. Current New York laws prohibit ETS from informing a college or high school.
Last month, Gaston Caperton, the head of the College Board and former governor of West Virginia, testified in front of a New York State Senate panel.
He said that were three possible security enhancements under consideration for all SAT takers: changes in the types, forms, number and qualification of acceptable IDs; changes to requirements for collection of identifying information during registration and on test day; and additional test day security requirements, including the use of digital photography.