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Newport Beach Police Department
Monday October 6th, 2014 :: 05:32 p.m. PDT


Joint Press Release: Tutor Charged for Illegally Changing Grades of Three Students at Corona del Mar High School


*Defendant is accused of fleeing the country during the investigation


SANTA ANA – A tutor was charged today with crimes related to illegally changing grades of students at Corona Del Mar High School during the 2012 to 2013 school year. Timothy Lance Lai, 29, is charged with one felony count of second degree commercial burglary and four felony counts of computer access and fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in jail. The People will be requesting he be held on $200,000 bail at his arraignment in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time and date are to be determined.


At the time of the crimes, Lai was a private tutor for students who attended Corona Del Mar High School. In 2013, Lai is accused of breaking into Corona Del Mar High School and inserting a USB device into a teacher’s computer that was able to record the teacher’s keystrokes.


Between April 1, 2013, and June 14, 2013, Lai is accused of accessing the school’s network using the information from recorded keystrokes and changing the grades of three students from two different teachers.


On June 14, 2013, one of the teachers discovered that grades for students had been changed and contacted school administrators. The school administrators contacted Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) who investigated this case. In December 2013, during the investigation, another USB device was discovered on a third teacher’s computer.


Shortly after the investigation began, the defendant is accused of fleeing the country. NBPD arrested the defendant when he arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport today, Oct. 6, 2014. The investigation by NBPD is on-going.


Senior Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1

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