Six Teens Accused in SAT Cheating Scandal
Six teens are accused of cheating on their SAT tests. Prosecutors say they hired one genius to take the test for them. INSIDE EDITION reports on how the man who alledgedly took the tests was apparently leading a double life.
It's a walk of shame for six teens accused of participating in an SAT cheating ring.
The brainiac who allegedly took the test for them is the only one who showed his face.
INSIDE EDITION went to the prestigious school that is the center of the cheating scandal.
Students at Great Neck North high school, which is about 20 miles outside of New York City, feel the pressure to get into top colleges.
Now six students are accused of trying to cheat on the SATs by hiring a genius former student to take the test for them.
His name is Sam Eshaghoff, and he's 19 years old.
Eshaghoff spent his freshman year at the elite University of Michigan, and just transferred to the equally competitive Emory University in Atlanta.
But Eshaghoff was leading a double life.
Prosecutors say he would travel home to New York, where he would be paid $1,500 to $2,500 to take the college entrance exam.
"How was he able to pull it off?" asked INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent.
"It was really, strangely, very simple. He prepared fake ID's. He showed up at the test center which is outside the school district where these kids went to school, and said here I am," said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
Eshaghoff's average score on each of the three sections of the test was an impressive 728 out of 800.
That combined score of around 2200 is in the high 97th percentile.
Prosecutors say the wiz kid apparently was able to impersonate the lone female student because she has a gender-neutral name. But she never paid a dime.
"He didn't charge her?" asked Trent.
"Well we believe that there was a personal relationship between them, that might have linked to him doing this free of charge," said Rice.
SAT cheating rings are rarely busted, but they often pop up in the movies and on TV, most recently on Showtime's Shameless.
"There's a lot of pressure on kids to do well. Really. Parents always want to have the smartest kids, the best kids, the best behaved kids, and they push them without even realizing it," said mom and former student Moji Pourmoradi.
Great Neck North is consistently on Newsweek magazine's list of America's best public high schools.
Scott Farber is president of A-List Education, which prepares students for the SATs.
He's even worked with kids from Great Neck North.
"It's such a pressurized environment. Students are looking at increased competition. Not just from the US but from students abroad. They're looking at their neighbors, wondering how they stack up, and it can really lead students to go to great lengths trying to distinguish themselves," said Farber.
Eshaghoff faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
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