Police in Newport Beach, California, arrested a private tutor on Monday for his involvement in a high school grade fixing scandal. Timothy Lai, the 29-year-old suspect at the center of the scandal was attempting to flee the country, was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport.
According to the police, Lai broke into Corona Del Mar High School last year and installed a USB device that recorded keystrokes on a teacher's computer, reports Reuters. He then accessed the school's network using the keystroke data and changed grades belonging to three students between April and June 2013. A teacher discovered the hacks and informed school administrators, who, in turn, alerted police. Police then found a separate USB device on another teacher's computer.
Following the scandal, 11 students in Orange County were expelled. "The Board's action imposes discipline upon these students for the maximum allowed by the Education Code for what occurred at Corona del Mar High School," Board President Karen Yelsey said in a statement, reports CBS Los Angeles.
Jane Garland, the administrator who resigned and was closely involved in the case as Newport-Mesa Unified School District's head of discipline, said the district did not handle the investigation properly and turned a deaf ear on her recommendations to give the students a lighter punishment or provide warnings that the problem might be more far-reaching, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Lai is charged with one felony count of second-degree commercial burglary and four felony counts of computer access and fraud. If convicted he would land up behind the bars for five years and eight months.
Prosecutors said they will request Lai be held on $200,000 bail at his arraignment, which is yet to be scheduled.