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Former Ga. Tech student cheated, sentenced

6:26 AM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A former Georgia Institute of Technology student pleaded guilty Wednesday in Fulton County Superior Court to two counts of felony computer trespass.

Shayan Panjwani admitted to school officials that in July 2011, he illegally logged into Georgia Tech's grading system and changed his grades.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said while hacking into a computer system and changing someone's grades often gets portrayed as a prank, it is a serious crime.

"Kids are always going to find the next step in technology. Deterrence is really our best defense.  If someone is caught changing their grades, we're going to prosecute to the full extent of the law as a warning to other students," Olens said.

Ironically, the two courses in which Panjwani changed his grade were computer science and psychology.

A graduate student who was later going over class grades noticed the change and alerted his superiors at Georgia Tech.

"Let's just say the changes he made were substantial," Olens said.

Judge Karen Woodson sentenced Panjwani under the First Offender Act to two years probation and ordered him to pay a fine of $1000.

In an emailed statement, Georgia Tech officials said:

"Students academic records are protected by FERPA. The student is no longer at Georgia Tech."

Olens confirmed that Panjwani is no longer a student within the state university system, but he does attend a private college in Georgia.

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