The pressure and drive to exceed in school never ends. Instead of studying a little longer and a little harder, however, the answer for some students is figuring out the best shortcut. According to the Kathleen Rice and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, Sam Eshaghoff, a former University of Michigan and current Emory student, was arrested after sitting for the SAT on behalf of at least a half a dozen high school students in exchange for thousands of dollars. Not a full fledged criminal enterprise, but more than an amateur operation, its further alleged that Eshaghoff sat for the SAT on Long Island at schools where administrators would not know the real students. Further, it is claimed that Eshagoff was armed with fake and phony New York State drivers licenses.
As interesting and as appealing as this case is, I have witnessed these types of scams on a much larger and even an international scale. As a Manhattan prosecutor, I led the investigation and prosecution of approximately two dozen individuals for either fraudulently taking or paying another person to take the GRE, GMAT and TOEFL. Education Testing Service (ETS) administers these examinations as well as the SAT. The Manhattan criminal enterprise, which extended well beyond the borders of New York and the United States, was extensive. Using faking passports at examinations centers and providing fraudulent diplomas, recommendation letters, transcripts, bank statements and other materials to universities and colleges throughout the United States, hundreds of students began their studies not on merit, but on fraud. In fact, the investigation revealed these students enrolled at NYU Stern School of Business, Columbia University Teachers College, Baruch College, UCLA, University of Michigan, Tulane Medical School, Canada’s McGill University and many other prestigious institutions.