BYU-Idaho Student Charged With Altering Transcripts, Taking Scholarship Money


A former BYU-Idaho student/employee is facing felony charges after prosecutors said he took cheating to an extreme level.

The Standard Journal is reporting that a graduation specialist at BYU-Idaho's Student Records and Registrations Office altered computer records to indicate that he had an associates degree that in fact he didn't earn. Prosecutors say the suspect also changed his academic standing from probation to good, and gave himself straight A's. More egregiously, prosecutors say, the suspect was able to secure nearly $7,000 in scholarship funds because of the grade changes. $5,000 was actually disbursed and used. Prosecutors said the suspect made the changes over a two-year period. 

Police said the suspect sent altered transcripts to BYU, the University of Utah and LDS Business College.

24-year-old Jacob Espinal was arrested on Nov. 9 and charged with two counts of computer crimes, both felonies, as well as felony grand theft. His preliminary hearing is set for Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Madison County Courthouse.