Sam Eshaghoff, a teenager from Long Island, who charged students thousands of dollars to take their SATs (Scholastic Aptitute Tests) for them has spoken out for the first time about the scam, calling the security at the tests “uniformly pathetic”.
Sam Eshaghoff, 19, was arrested in September along with 20 other students for either paying to have the test taken or providing them with the service.
He told 60 Minutes that his college-entrance exams couldn’t have been easier to pull off and said he could do it again tomorrow, “piece of cake”.
Speaking on the show, which will air this Sunday, Sam Eshaghoff said: “I would say that between the SAT and ACT, the security is uniformly pathetic.
“In the sense that anybody with half a brain could get away with taking the test for anybody else.”
Sam Eshaghoff was charged with scheming to defraud, falsifying business records and criminal impersonation but will avoid jail time by accepting a plea deal that will see him offer up his counsel to low-income students looking to ace their exams.
The scam all started when one student asked Sam Eshaghoff if it was possible to pull off and how much it would take.
Sam Eshaghoff’s answer was $2,500 and he revealed to 60 Minutes that he took both the SAT and ACT tests around 20 times for his “intellectually-challenged” clients at Great Neck North High School, Long Island.
“My whole clientele was based on word of mouth and a referral system.”
Sam Eshaghoff was so successful at completing the Scholastic Aptitute Tests, he could guarantee an eye-popping high score for his clients, prosecutors claim.
And, after the money had changed hands, Sam Eshaghoff came good on his promise.
The top possible SAT score is 2,400, and Eshaghoff allegedly secured 2220, 2210, 2140, 2180, 2180 and 2170 for his students.
Though Sam Eshaghoff eventually handed himself in when he realized school officials were on to him, he hinted to the fact he was actually doing a good service for his peers.
Sam Eshaghoff said: “I mean, a kid who has a horrible grade-point average, who no matter how much he studies is gonna totally bomb this test, by giving him an amazing score, I totally give him this . . . new lease on life.
“He’s gonna go to a totally new college. He’s gonna be bound for a totally new career and a totally new path on life.”
The scheme was only rumbled when school officials learned of it through rumors circulating in the upscale school district.
Sharp-eyed officials pored over SAT scores, looking for discrepancies between SAT scores and grade point averages.
Police say that Sam Eshaghoff’s case may be just the tip of the iceberg, as there are major holes in the process of checking students’ IDs before the exams.
In each case, teenagers signed up to take the tests away from their own school, so their faces wouldn’t be recognized.