Trial under way in grade-changing scheme

March 24, 2009 at 3:16 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 24 (UPI) -- Prosecutors allege Marcus Barrington was one of three people who changed grades and altered the residency status of students at Florida A&M University.

The three former A&M students were charged in a five-count federal indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, unauthorized computer access and aggravated identity theft, the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat reported Tuesday.

Trial began Monday for Barrington, 23, who has pleaded innocent. Christopher Jacquette, 27, and Lawrence Secrease, 22, have pleaded guilty to the charges and are expected to testify against Barrington this week, prosecutors said.

The indictment alleges Barrington in 2007 changed 650 grades, including those of his sister, Mia Barrington, and altered the residency status of several students from out-of-state to in-state to decrease their tuition from $498 to about $126 per credit hour, said prosecutor Eric Mountin.

Secrease and Jacquette are to be sentenced in April. Barrington faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, the Democrat said.

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