SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — The FBI is now in on the case of a high school cheating scandal in Orange County.
Police asked the agency to help investigate a private tutor accused of masterminding a scheme that allowed students at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach to hack into school computers to change their grades and obtain access to exams.
Officials with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District expelled 11 students last month and launched an audit of 750,000 grades to determine how many grades might have been changed.
KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports Newport Beach police investigators have yet to locate 28-year-old Timothy Lance Lai, the private tutor allegedly at the center of the cheating scandal.
“We do not have a warrant out for his arrest, although we are looking and we’re soliciting any help from the public can give us,” said Newport Beach Police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.
Lai, who is still wanted by authorities for questioning, is believed to have allegedly compromised school computers with a device known as a keylogger, according to investigators.
Federal computer specialists are now trying to make electronic evidence seized from Lai’s home in Irvine readable for investigators.
Meanwhile, Jane Garland, a top administrator with Newport-Mesa Unified, said the district’s handling of the scandal “has revealed serious deficiencies in the management and operation of the district,” according to an email obtained by the OC Register.