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California tutor sentenced to a year in jail in high school hacking, grade-changing scandal

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SANTA ANA, California — A tutor at the center of a high school grade-changing scandal in Orange County has been sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to computer fraud and commercial burglary.

Timothy Lance Lai was also sentenced Tuesday to five years' probation.

He had previously pleaded not guilty and could have faced more than five years in prison if convicted at trial.

Prosecutors say the Irvine man was working as a private tutor in 2013 when he broke into a building at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach and planted keylogging devices on computers.

Authorities say that information was used to break into the school's computer system, steal exams and change the grades of three students.

Eleven students allegedly involved in hacking the system were expelled.

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