Former DSU associate registrar pleads guilty for participation in $3 million in-state tuition scheme

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A former associate registrar has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of taking bribes in return for changing the tuition status of out of state students.

David C. Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, stated that Crystal Martin, former Associate Registrar at a Delaware public university, made the plea in federal court to a charge of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Martin’s sentencing is scheduled for July 1. Martin faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Media reports have identified Martin as working at Delaware State University. According to her LinkedIn profile, she was employed by DSU for 12 years and also served as an adjunct faculty member.

According to court documents and statements made in open court, between 2013 and 2017, Martin accepted bribes from an unnamed co-conspirator in exchange for her agreement to change the registration status of hundreds of out-of-state students, thereby allowing students from outside of Delaware to qualify for in-state tuition.

Martin was accused of using forged residency documents prepared by her co-conspirator to enable these students to pay reduced tuition, when in fact, she knew they should be paying the higher tuition rate for out-of-state residents.

Tuition for out-of-state students is over two times the rate for in-state students.

The out-of-state students paid either Martin or her co-conspirator, for this service, and Martin personally collected over $70,000 in bribe payments. The estimated cost to the University of reduced tuition payments during this four-year-period exceeded $3 million.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Education, and Delaware State Police, with assistance from the Delaware Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust.

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