A 21-year-old man who repeatedly broke into his high school to change grades and steal tests almost three years ago will serve 30 days in jail and pay nearly $15,000 in restitution under a plea agreement reached Monday, The Orange Country Register reported,
Omar Khan, of Santa Ana, Calif., pleaded guilty to five felony counts and will perform 500 hours of community service and remain on three years’ probation. He was scheduled to stand trial beginning Monday after being arrested in 2008 for breaking into his high school at least six times.
Khan made “some bad judgment calls” and has taken full responsibility, his attorney Carol Lavacot told the Register.
“He really feels bad about what he did and what he put his family and friends through,” she said.
Before Monday’s plea deal, Khan was facing 69 felony counts for changing public records, computer access and fraud, burglary, identity theft and conspiracy, which could have given him up 38 years in prison. Khan had pleaded not guilty to all the felony charges and was free on $50,000 bail.
Khan was given a lighter sentence in his plea deal than what prosecutors had been seeking, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said. Lavacot said her client decided to accept a plea deal after nearly three years’ agony, frustration and four different attorneys.
Prosecutors say Khan hacked into Capistrano Unified School District’s student database and changed his and at least 12 other students’ grades. He also altered his Advanced Placement exam scores, and stole an English test and master copies of other tests.
Lavacot said Khan was just one of 10 students involved in the cheating scheme. His former co-defendant, Tanvir Singh, pleaded guilty in September 2008 to one felony count and one misdemeanor count and was given three years’ probation and 200 hours of community service.
Khan is set to serve his 30-day jail sentence in Orange County Jail, but has the option to transfer to a private jail facility, the Register said.