Miami-Dade County

December 10, 2013

Three arrested in FIU stolen-exam scheme

The scam appears confined to a single class but one professor said the school may have to step up its computer security

Two students and an alumnus at Florida International University ran a scheme to steal and sell exams for $150 a pop, according to university police.

Arrested were: students Krissy Lamadrid, 21, and Jason Calderon, 23; and former student, Alex Anaya, 30.

Police reports did not provide a clear explanation of how Anaya obtained the tests. They said he accessed a professor’s secure email account and entered a room on campus without permission to steal the tests. He then “organized a distribution system,” which included Lamadrid and Calderon, the reports said.

Anaya stole about five exams over all, police say, and Lamadrid collected money from the sales. She was carrying about $860 when arrested. An FIU release said an initial investigation suggested all the exams were from one class during the current semester.

History professor Brian Peterson, in an email to the Miami Herald, said the university may need to step up computer security in light of the incident.

“This is horrible,” Peterson wrote. “Evidently there was both burglary and intrusion into the computer files of the professor using stolen passwords. That makes computer security a very live issue at FIU.’’

The arrest reports state that Anaya knew that what he was doing was illegal, and that Lamadrid and Caldreon also knew the tests were stolen. None of the three charged in the scheme could be reached for comment on Tuesday.

A cousin of Anaya, reached by phone, said she was unaware of the arrest and in “complete shock.’’

“He’s my closest cousin. I can’t believe this,’’ said Soany Henriquez. “He’s super intelligent. He’s been an example for all of my family.”

Henriquez then hung up, saying she needed to call Anaya’s mother.

Florida law enforcement records show none of the accused has a previous criminal history.

The university community was notified of the arrests in an email sent Monday night, saying a limited number of students were involved.

“The allegations are being addressed by the police and appropriate academic administrative offices,’’ the email said. “FIU will pursue all avenues to ensure that everyone who is involved is held accountable.”

FIU police referred questions to university spokeswoman Maydel Santana-Bravo, who said the school would not provide further comment.

FIU phonebook records available online suggest that Lamadrid worked in the university’s Office of Planning and Institutional Research. She is also listed as the vice president of Future Optometry Students of America, although the club is not listed with the university’s Council for Student Organizations, according to records available online.

Follow @Cveiga on Twitter.

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