**Web Exclusive** Grade buyer sentenced

Ariel Messman-Rucker

Sumair Arif was found guilty of a single misdemeanor count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud last Wednesday for his part in the cash-for-grades scandal that involved students selling grades out of the college’s Admissions and Records office between 2000 and 2006.

Judge Sugiyama sentenced Arif to 74 days to be served in county jail or electronic home detention and one year court probation after the jury found him guilty of paying approximately $600 to change a grade in 2004.

Arif, 25, is currently a student at Cal State Sacramento, but will likely miss the remainder of the semester because of his sentence.

“It is very likely that Mr. Arif will lose the benefit of the work that he has completed,” Judge Sugiyama said during sentencing.

Deputy District Attorney Dodie Katague said Arif’s standing at Cal State Sacramento will most likely be affected because he was found guilty of being part of a conspiracy to alter his transcript.

Tom Ogas, Arif’s defense attorney, could not be reached for comment by press time.

This was the 24th conviction or guilty plea the district attorney’s office has obtained in the cash-for-grades scandal that dates back to 1999, with about 20 more cases pending.

On Thursday Ronald Nixon, an accused ringleader, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and agreed to help prosecutors, Katague said.

The district attorney’s office is hoping that Nixon will be able to shed some light on parts of the scandal that remain unknown to authorities, he said.