A must-watch "60 Minutes" for Newsday readers: This Sunday's show has an interview with Sam Eshaghoff, the Great Neck student, now at Emory University, who officials said was paid to take tests for other kids. Says he to Alison Stewart:
“My whole clientele were based on word of mouth and like a referral system," he tells Stewart. “A kid who has a horrible grade-point average, who, no matter how much he studies is going to totally bomb this test,” Eshaghoff says, “By giving him an amazing score, I totally give him … a new lease on life. He’s going to go to a totally new college … be bound for a totally new career … new path in life,” he says.
And more from "60," on Eshaghoff, 19, charged in September with fraud and criminal impersonation.
He has heard the notion that deserving students are being left out of those colleges as a result of his fraud, but Eshaghoff is not buying it. “He really wasn’t displacing somebody … I feel confident defending the fact that [my clients] getting into the schools that they ended up getting into didn’t really affect other people,” he says. Eshaghoff regrets the shame his arrest caused his family and says if he could start over, he “never would have done it.” He will serve no jail time. Instead, under a plea deal, he will tutor low-income students on how to ace the exams he received so much money to take for others.