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Suspect in cash-for-grades scheme held on $250K bail

A 25-year-old man about to graduate from Cal Poly San LuisObispo pleaded not guilty to charges he reaped thousands of dollars helpingfellow students at a Northern California communitycollege get their grades changed on transcripts.

Julian Revilleza, who worked in the records office at Diablo Valley College,was charged Thursday with 23 felony counts of fraud and conspiracy stemmingfrom an alleged cash-for-grades scandal in which 33 other current and formerstudents also have been implicated.

Revilleza’s bail was set at $250,000 after a prosecutor arguedhe was one of the main organizers of the cheating plot. An investigation by thecollege found that about 400 grades were raised over the six years the schemewas ongoing.

“He’s the mastermind, essentially, of aconspiracy,” prosecutor Dodie Katague said. “Without him, thiswouldn’t have happened.”

Defense lawyer Richard Weese said Revilleza, a businessmajor, should have his bail lowered because the charges against him did notinvolve a violent crime.

Twenty people have been arrested in the case. Another 14,including a former Diablo Valley College records office employee whois alleged to have first offered to make grade changes.

Information from: Contra Costa Times

– Associated Press

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