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Prosecutors Charge 34 Students for Changing Grades in DVC

Sixteen individuals who formerly attended Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill face serious criminal charges of computer fraud and conspiracy. They are accused of changing grades unlawfully.

There are criminal and conspiracy charges on 34 current and ex-students. Of them, four have been indicted in Contra Costa County Superior Court and 12 have already admitted their guilt and surrendered.

Previously, there used to be no misappropriation of computer access. There was a lot of trust on this culture but now, trust is abused, said Helen Benjamin, chancellor of the three-school Contra Costa Community College District. Insidebayarea published this in news on July 26, 2007.

Officials noted that the grade-changing scandal began in 2001 and in 2006, all the three scams were uncovered. Between these years, there were changes in more than 400 grades and around 132,000 students went to attend Diablo Valley College. Also in this period, 54 students received illegal grade alterations. However, after identifying these grades, they have been corrected to the original ones with notes mentioning the rectification.

The grade-changing scandal started off many years back when students performing duty in the admissions office discovered the process of hacking into the computers installed in the school. When not in others' notice, the students would secretly alter the grades. Soon, they began to advertise by 'word of mouth' that anybody who wanted a grade alteration could have it for a negotiated price, said Contra Costa County Deputy DA Dodie Katague. KCBS published this in news on July 25, 2007.

The community college administrators announced that they possessed corrected transcripts and notified students and other schools involved through letters who might be having fake transcripts. As this was going on, the first court appearances started.

Some students allegedly paid to get their grades altered to four-year college attendance and since then, they've been graduated. Letters have gone to those colleges, and certificates and degrees that Diablo Valley awarded on the basis of fake grades are being cancelled.

After investigating the scam at length, prosecutors filed the criminal and conspiracy charges against 34 students in the third week of June 2007.

Related article: Prosecutors Charge Romanian Hacker for Violating NASA Computer Security

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