Karen Littlefair, a California woman, has been charged and has agreed to plead guilty to charges that she paid someone to take online courses for her son, and to transfer the credits to Georgetown University, where he was a student.
Littlefair paid the money to Rick Singer, the mastermind of the college admissions scandal, but her son was already enrolled at Georgetown. For the $9,000 she paid, her son received credit for four courses. He graduated from Georgetown last year. Littlefair agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The government will recommend a sentence of four months behind bars.
A Georgetown spokeswoman said that during the university's investigation of irregularities in some students' admission, it learned of the possibility that one student admitted to Georgetown may have engaged in inappropriate transfer of online credits. "Our ongoing review process also informed several policy changes underway for online coursework at Georgetown. We have implemented or are in the process of implementing a number of additional measures to safeguard the security and identify of online course participants, including the development of a more robust learning management system that provides better access tools to prevent cheating, along with providing enhanced student learning data to help identify potentially inappropriate behavior. We are also continuing to work to enhance online proctoring solutions, and utilize anti-plagiarism technologies. When the university learns of a potential serious violation of the Honor System after a student has graduated, the Honor Council will investigate and adjudicate the case and may recommend sanctions up to and including the revocation of the student’s degree."