NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The tutor alleged to have been involved in a high school cheating scandal was arrested Monday at Los Angeles International Airport.
Timothy Lai, 29, is accused of fleeing the country shortly after Newport Beach police began investigating claims that students’ grades had been manipulated during a computer hack at Corona del Mar High School.
Lai, a former private tutor, is accused of breaking into the school his students attended and inserting a USB device into a teacher’s computer that was able to record the teacher’s keystrokes.
Spokespersons for the Newport Beach Police Department and Orange County District Attorney’s Office say from April 1, 2013, to June 14, 2013, Lai accessed the school’s network using the information from recorded keystrokes and changed the grades of three students from two teachers.
In December 2013, another USB device was discovered on a third teacher’s computer, according to investigators.
The cheating scandal led to the expulsion of 11 high school students in Orange County.
Lai is charged with one felony count of second-degree commercial burglary and four felony counts of computer access and fraud.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in jail.
Prosecutors say they will request Lai be held on $200,000 bail at his arraignment, which had not yet been scheduled.