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Former Assistant District Attorney
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

Federal fraud charges allege teacher exam cheating

| Jan 4, 2021 | Federal Crimes

When preparing to take an exam that may determine the course of one’s career, many in Mississippi will take every opportunity to obtain the help they need. This may include tutoring or getting advice from those who have already taken the test. One company who offers such assistance is now under federal investigation, and its owners are facing over one hundred federal fraud charges along with racketeering and other offenses, following allegations that they illegally obtained the answers to a critical teacher certification exam.

Federal authorities believe thousands of teachers in a neighboring state may have obtained their licenses after going through a tutoring program that offered test questions and answers the owners allegedly stole from the state’s department of education. According to a grand jury indictment, the owners of the tutoring program allegedly did the following:

  • Took required teacher and educational leadership exams numerous times so they could memorize test questions
  • Instructed their employees and their contracted tutors to do the same
  • Used electronic devices, such as email, video calls and texting, to share the information they gleaned from the tests
  • Published the supposedly stolen information in their test prep materials
  • Utilized the information during their tutoring sessions
  • Violated the non-disclosure agreement they signed prior to taking the exams

Because of the number of counts and the severity of penalties for federal fraud charges, the owners of the business have much to be concerned about. Likewise, anyone in Mississippi who is facing federal charges may be dealing with life-altering consequences. Therefore, it is wise to have a strong legal ally as early as possible after an arrest.