Prosecutors filed a charge Friday against the central figure in a grade tampering case out of Tulsa Community College.
News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says the investigation started a year ago - and is still developing, as police unravel a money for better grades scam that involved dozens of students, several school employees - and the man charged Friday - accused of paying for the whole operation.
He's been in jail since November - but Friday he's just beginning a court case over some changed grades at Tulsa Community College. Tarig Al Taweel - a car salesman - is charged with a computer crime - though the underlying allegation is that he bribed TCC employees to change grades for his friends.
Steven L Sewell with the Tulsa County District Attorneys Office: "We have filed today altering grades by exceeding authority, a violation of the computer crimes act." The allegations against Al Taweel include illegally changed grades - 24 grades for $2000 in one case, 6 grades for $1500 in another - and 22 grades for an uncertain amount in another. But Al-Taweel faces a charge of only having one grade changed - a chemistry grade that rose from an "F" - to an "A". "We only filed the one count and only against Mr. Al Taweel and that is an allegation that he acted in concert with Jean Hogle, at this particular time no additional counts were filed, nor were additional charges filed against anybody."
The investigation has so far resulted in two arrests: Jean Hogle, a TCC employee, and Al Taweel. 76 students have been suspended - and the investigation isn't over. The students at TCC were all of Middle Eastern decent, on student visas that required they maintain their grades to stay in the country. This is the second charge against Al-Taweel, but the first was dismissed in court last Monday. Within hours, police filed a new complaint - resulting in the new charge.
The suspect is in segregation at the Tulsa County Jail, where he's been since November. Though dozens of grades were altered - the charge came out of just one, so there is the possibility that more charges could be coming as the case unfolds.