A former associate registrar at Delaware State University pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting $70,000 in bribes to allow hundreds of out-of-state students to qualify for in-state tuition, which is less than half the out-of-state rate, the U.S. Attorney in Delaware said Wednesday.
The scheme by Crystal Martin and a unnamed co-conspirator cost the Dover university $3 million in tuition payments over four years ended in 2017. Martin faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced July 1.
“The defendant abused her position at a public university to personally profit and to defraud her employer. Individuals who accept bribes while serving in a public capacity risk undermining trust in those institutions," David C. Weiss, the U.S. Attorney in Delaware said in a news release.
Last fall, nearly two thirds of 1047-member freshman class was from out of state. Current undergraduate tuition and fees for Delaware residents is $7,868, compared to $16,904 for nonresidents.
Martin’s accomplice provided forged residency documents, which she used as the basis for changing the registration status of the students.