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Orange County News

Corona del Mar High School hacking: Tutor wanted for questioning

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Timothy Lance Lai, 28, is shown in an undated file photo provided by the Newport Beach Police Department.

Timothy Lance Lai, 28, is shown in an undated file photo provided by the Newport Beach Police Department. (KABC Photo)

The private tutor who allegedly helped Corona del Mar High School students hack into the system to manipulate grades has been identified by police.

Newport Beach police say they're looking for 28-year-old Timothy Lance Lai of Irvine to question him about the case. As of Thursday afternoon, Lai's whereabouts were unknown.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District officials believe a private tutor gave a group of students a hacking device and taught them how to use it. They learned of the alleged cheating through a tip on campus on Tuesday. Parents have been notified of the incident.

Authorities say the students hacked into the school system to change their grades and access tests. School officials say the students involved could face serious criminal charges.

School administrators say they are aware of about a dozen students involved, but the scope could be broader.

In addition to the students involved, Lai could also face criminal charges. Investigators are looking into whether he works in other school districts as well. At this point, it's not clear what the students' punishment will be.

If you have any information about Lai's whereabouts, you're urged to contact Detective David Syvock at (949) 644-3771 or Detective Sgt. Doug Jones at (949) 644-3775.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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