Former OC Student Gets Sentenced For Computer Hacking, Grade Fixing

SANTA ANA (CBS) —  A former Tesoro High student pleaded guilty Monday to hacking into school computers to change grades and cheat on tests three years ago.

Omar Shahid Khan, 21, of Coto de Caza is expected to be sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years of probation, and 500 hours of community service.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals is also expected to order Khan to pay about $14,900 in restitution.

Khan pleaded guilty to two felony counts of commercial burglary and a felony count each of altering public records, stealing or removing public records and attempting to steal or remove public records.

Dozens of related felony counts were dismissed as part of a plea deal offered by Goethals.

Goethals set sentencing for Aug. 26 so Khan would have time to complete all of the terms of the plea deal by then, his attorney Carol Ellen Lavacot said. At sentencing, Goethals will consider a motion to have the felonies reduced to misdemeanors, Lavacot said.

Khan decided to take Goethals’ plea bargain offer because he did not want many of his classmates at Tesoro High School in Las Flores and others to have to return to court to testify during a trial, Lavacot said.

“He hurts so badly for what he’s put his family through,” Lavacot said, adding Khan also is sorry for letting down his former teachers and coaches.

Co-defendant Tanvir Singh, 21, of Ladera Ranch, pleaded guilty on Sept. 9, 2008, to a felony count of attempting to steal or remove public records and a misdemeanor count of computer access and fraud. Singh was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and three years of formal probation.

About 10 students were involved in the cheating and grade changing, but most of them had their cases dealt with in juvenile court, Lavacot said.

“Omar and Tanvir had just turned 18, so but for the fact of their age they would have been handled with that safety net called juvenile court, but they were adults so there was no safety net,” Lavacot said.

Khan broke into classrooms and administrative offices at the high school several times from Jan. 23, 2008, to May 19, 2008, so he could steal tests and hack into computers to change his grades, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Khan volunteers his time helping orphaned children and coaching underprivileged children on the golf course, Lavacot said. Khan hopes to either work in the field of psychology or become a pediatrician, Lavacot said.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Alan Hart

    He probably has a job offer at Microsoft.

  • geek squad

    great for a resume
    facebook: zuckerberg would probably give him credit to his finding of fcbk during his yrs at harvard. 10% share
    5%for altering grades,5% for looking at personal identity.

  • Monalsa Liz-ardo

    Who made those passwords? Probably my husband who uses “password” for password.

  • Sandra Lee

    LOL at all of your comments.

    Truth is, this case was overblown and the DA’s office including Susan Heesoo Kang Schroeder, Tony Rackaukas, Elizabeth Henderson, and Charles Lawhorn, all were involved in this. The reason being is that they wanted to have this become a big case so that all students in the OC say, “Oh God, I won’t ever cheat in school again.” Well guess what, that won’t happen cuz students here are still going to do it. The DA’s office filed overblown charges and could not resolve it afterward because they would look bad in the press. 69 counts for juvenile high school pranks? That’s what this justice system has come to?

    I’m sure Tesoro employees like Daniel Birch and Lance Christensen others were so upset at the fact that they forgot to lock the doors, that they played “victim” and asked the DA to throw the book on one guy whereas there were 13 involved. Guess what, nobody else was charged except one because their birthdays were a couple months after this kid’s. Epitome of this justice system.

    Prosecute kids, win elections, and eat up taxpayer money. This should have been a juvenile case and if was not blown up to be this huge in the first place, then even an hour of community service would seem too much. I equate this to a senior prank that was done at my school. People actually filmed breaking into the school and damaging classrooms but guess what, the DA’s office said, “Why would I charge in a case like that?” It’s stupid. Hand out a suspension. The school should be sued and all of those idiots should be fired.

    Way to go Heesoo Kang!

  • kpg29

    Isn’t this supposed to be a juvenile case? 13 were involved but others weren’t charged because of their ages?!

    This doesn’t sound like the U.S. Oh wait, yes it does.

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