It could be a long time before Omar Khan goes to college: as long as 38 years, according to Orange County prosecutors, who have arrested and charged the 18-year-old student with breaking into his prestigious high school and hacking into computers to change his test grades from Fs to As. If convicted on all 69 counts, including altering and stealing public records, computer fraud, burglary, identity theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy, Mr Khan could spend almost four decades in prison.
Mr Khan’s defence lawyer, Carol Lavacol, described her client as “a really nice kid” and said: “There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.”
In an alleged plot that resembles the script to the 1986 high school comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, prosecutors claim that he then used teachers’ passwords to hack into computers and change his test scores. In at least one test, an English exam, Mr Khan had been given an F grade because he was caught cheating.
Tesoro High has 2,800 pupils and often appears in Newsweek magazine’s annual list of best high schools.