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Former Delaware State University official pleads guilty to accepting bribes for in-state tuition
A former Delaware State University official pleaded guilty to taking over $70,000 in bribes in a scheme to help give out-of-state students in-state tuition, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday.
Crystal Martin, a former registrar at the school, pleaded guilty to one felony count of bribery and could face up to 10 years behind bars for her part in the scheme that cost the university an estimated $3 million.
"The defendant abused her position at a public university to personally profit and to defraud her employer," U.S. Attorney David Weiss said in a statement. "Individuals who accept bribes while serving in a public capacity risk undermining trust in those institutions."
Federal prosecutors said Martin took the bribes over a four-year span.
According to the university's website, in-state tuition for the current school year is about half that of out-of-state tuition: at $7,868 versus $16,904, respectively. Delaware State University is one of the nation's top-ranked historically black colleges and universities.
The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The news comes amid reports of a widespread college admissions scandal involving several top universities and colleges that has so far implicated celebrities including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.
Prosecutors say 33 parents paid millions of dollars in bribes and fees for test-taking surrogates to stand in for their children's SATs or ACTs, for university sports coaches to get their children in as recruits, or both. Fourteen so far have agreed to plead guilty in connection with the scheme.