Two Alleged Cheaters Barred From Taking E.T.S. Exams
A federal judge has ordered two California men to stop an alleged cheating scheme that involved selling answers on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Achievement Tests to students.
Acting on a complaint brought by the Educational Testing Service, the New Jersey-based firm that administers the tests, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Kelleher barred the two alleged ringleaders of the unusual "time zone" scheme--Paul Krc and Steven Su--from taking the exams. The S.A.T. was administered Oct. 12, less than a week after Judge Kelleher's ruling.
In the lawsuit, E.T.s. officials charged that Mr. Krc would take the tests in areas outside the Pacific time zone. He would then telephone answers to Mr. Su, who along with about 10 accomplices would copy them and sell them for up to $2,000. The tests are administered in identical form on the same day.
Although the testing firm has investigated cheating incidents in the past, "this is the first time we have faced a time-zone scam," according to Stanford Von Mayrhauser, general counsel of the E.T.S.
No Plans To Prosecute Students
According to the firm, Mr. Krc took the S.A.T. at least 21 times over the past four years, sometimes under assumed names. He took the S.A.T. last November in London and last January in West Lafayette, Ind., the E.T.S. charges. He allegedly also took an Achievement Test in Kalamazoo, Mich., in June.
The company's complaint states that he instructed students to skip answers and to answer some questions incorrectly, in order to avoid the appearance of cheating.
Mr. Krc and Mr. Su, who did not appear at the hearing before Judge Kelleher, could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Mayrhauser said the civil lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Mr. Krc and Mr. Su. But he added that additional participants could be added to the lawsuit.
"We expect to find out more about the origin and scope [of the scheme] through [the judicial process of] discovery," he said. "if it is appropriate to add defendants, we will do so."
He also said that Mr. Krc and Mr. Su "may have violated state and/or federal criminal laws," but that no criminal charges have yet been filed.
The firm has no plans to seek damges against the estimated 40 students who are thought to have purchased the alleged answer sheets, Mr. Mayrhauser said.
"We have no plan to prosecute students, whose only role was to be beneficiaries," Mr. Mayrhauser said.
But the lawyer noted that, if students were found to have purchased answers, their test scores would be invalidated.
Vol. 11, Issue 08, Page 12