Students At Center Of Great Neck SAT Scandal Say They Were Double-Crossed

Claim They Are Now Victims Of Broken Promises From Nassau County DA

GREAT NECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Seven students at Great Neck North High School have been arrested, but now some of them say they are being victimized twice.

They’re blaming it on a set-up by the district attorney, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

The accused students from the elite school fought back on Wednesday, claiming they have already paid the price — for months answering questions from school administrators and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. They had their privileges revoked and served suspensions, but now claim they are victims of broken promises, that investigators allegedly led them to believe if students cooperated, they would face no further repercussions from the cheating scandal.

Attorney Robert Gallo represents one student who received a whopping 2210 out of a perfect 2400 on his SAT exam.

“There was clearly an investigation with consequence and certainly the student that I represent went on with his life with the supposition that this matter was behind him,” Gallo said of his client, who is now in college.

Some defense attorneys maintain the students are victims of “overeager and publicity minded” prosecutors who made the arrests now to capitalize on Saturday’s national SAT exam.

Investigators, however, refute that, saying the case was extremely complicated, involving handwriting, photographs, proctors, parents, admissions from the students themselves and test scores which they say came from the brainiac Sam Eshaghoff, who allegedly accepted as much as $2,500 a test to bring in close to perfect scores, catapulting them into a college of their dreams.

“I graduated Great Neck North High School. I know a lot of the kids involved and I just feel like … just ‘cause this is a town with such high expectations I feel like they really want to set an example out of this town. Yes, unfairly,” Perry Landsman said.

“I feel a lot of kids feeling pressure of getting into the best colleges they can. The parents are just killing them,” student Daniel Mahfar said.

Diane Rein is using the scandal as a teaching point.

“Values start at home. I think it’s important to teach your children to work hard and do their best even if it’s not a top grade,” Rein said.

Prosecutors said investigations are underway into whether SAT cheating occurred at other Nassau high schools, and whether Eshaghoff took tests for students at other schools.

The students are due back in court at the end of October with their parents and attorneys. They want all criminal charges dropped.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • adam

    I am from Long Island and had my run-ins, unfairly, with Kathleen Rice, and I believe I can speak on behalf of my community when I say she is anti-Semitic. She is ruthless and cold-hearted.
    I understand that what happened here is wrong and the wrong-doers do deserve punishment. I do think a possible 4 years in jail is a little excessive, and parading them around in cuffs isn’t fair either. What ever happened to our right to privacy?

  • Sulayman F

    I suspect the parents are involved here. Where does a high school kid get $2000 from?

  • Jake

    We understand the wrongs of cheating on SATS, does it make sense to put him into jail? Jail is for CRIMINALS, criminals who are a THREAT to the society. Those are the type of citizens who should be put into jail, not a 19 year old who took tests for students, which understandably is horrible. This whole situation is brought by mothers who are forcing Kathleen Rice and other head officials to pursue this. This is wrong. Many citizens and members of Long Island have known Kathleen Rice for a while now, with all due respect, she doesn’t like Jews, as all these students are Jewish, leaves an unfair disadvantage to them.

    After this case is brought to an end, I strongly advise someone to go after Kathleen Rice….people of Long Island have said Kathleen is known as the “bitch”. She gets what she wants, and she has no feelings on families. SHE NEEDS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF IMMEDIATELY!

  • A Concerned Parent

    Nobody should disagree that what these former high school students did was wrong, and should be punished for their offenses. My sole complaint rests with the District Attorney’s office because there was no reason to “perp walk” the offending individuals before the media. Publicizing the matter through the print media would have been sufficient.

  • m y

    these little rich white kids wil get away with any and everything i wonder where they the cash to one guest parents…..

  • David Ruffin

    Cheating like this on the SATs is unfair, wrong, disgusting, immoral, and speaks to the distorted value systems of the kids involved. I would never even think of doing something like this. My kids wouldn’t think of doing something like this. There are thousands of kids in affluent communities, Long Island and elsewhere, who wouldn’t even get close to doing something like this. This little scheme is just that….a little scheme by some low lifes – the exception to the rule. It needed to be pointed out and corrected. Bravo to DA Rice. Now, expel these kids from their current colleges and give them a big fat “do over”. A big fat “mulligan”. And maybe they’ll learn their lesson. As for the ringleader…..jail sounds right for a bit.

    • Dopey Thieves

      Have you ever been to jail? This is a victim-less crime. Have you ever herd of anyone facing criminal charges because they cheated on a test? Get real, kids cheat on the SAT’s all the time. Sam has been crucified by the news. He and his family are going through enough.

  • doc in NJ

    “Values start at home. I think it’s important to teach your children to work hard and do their best even if it’s not a top grade.”

  • LG

    Oh boo hoo poor little rich kids. Get ready to be someones ho in prison.

  • Ziggy

    These kids may come from families that believe cheating the system is normal behavior. As such, they are no better than those who cheat and play the system to get government handouts. But, instead of living in the gettos, they come from Great Neck, Long Island.

  • Ziggy

    Once again, the path of greed has led to doom for these short-sighted muskrats.


    Kathleen Rice is a publicity minded DA. Rice and the Nassau PD could care less about the kids and the people of this county. They will promise you the world and give you nothing, as long as they get the statement and their names in the headlines

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