Former Florida A&M University student Marcus Barrington, 23, was sentenced Monday to 84 months (or 7 years) in federal prison for his involvement in a March grade change scandal.
Barrington’s accomplices and FAMU students, Lawrence Secrease, 22, and Christopher Jacquette, 27, pleaded guilty and are currently serving their 22-month sentences.
This brings an end to Barrington’s sentencing schedule, which has been delayed several times.
In a unanimous decision in March, a 12-member jury found Barrington guilty on five counts of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud.
Barrington, Secrease and Jacquette were indicted last October for changing 650 grades that affected 90 students. Some students had failing grades changed to A’s and students who had out-of-state tuition had their residency changed, which lowered their tuition fees.
FAMU lost more than $100,000 as a result of the computer changes. During the trial, Assistant U.S Attorney Eric Mountain, who prosecuted the case, said early detection of the security breach saved the university from losing more money.
During his five-day trial, Barrington took the stand and denied any wrongdoing. His defense attorney argued that no fingerprints were taken when evidence was collected during the investigation.
According to the federal indictment, between June and December 2007, the three men installed keystroke loggers on university computers in the “registrar’s office to access and alter student records stored on the People Soft” system.
On Dec. 2, 2008, Jacquette entered a guilty plea to the indictment alleging that he had conspired with Secrease and Barrington, to hack into the FAMU system to change grades and residency status. The federal courts considered Secrease and Jacquette’s guilty pleas and their court testimony as part of their sentencing
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