Ex-Delaware State registrar convicted of accepting over $70k in student bribes

Crystal Martin admitted in court to taking money from out-of-state students attending the school to classify them as in-state students to get cheaper tuition

Delaware State
Crystal Martin, former associate registrar at Delaware State University, took more than $70,000 in bribes by helping out-of-state students get in-state tuition. (Photo:Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture)

Another college bribery scandal could be brewing, but this time at an HBCU.

According to NBC News, Crystal Martin, who once worked as a registrar at Delaware State University, and on Tuesday confessed in court to receiving $70,000 in cash from out-of-state students to reclassify them as in-state residents so they could receive significant discounts on their annual tuition.

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Tuition for state residents at the Dover, Del., campus is $7,868 per semester, while out-of-state students are charged $16,904, more than twice that amount.  Prosecutors claim Martin’s scheme operated under the radar between 2013 and 2017 and ultimately ended up costing the college over $3 million in lost revenue.

In Delaware District Court, Martin, 35, also admitted that she had more than 100 paying customers and charged them between $300 and $600 for her assistance in the forgery. She also claims to have an accomplice who played as a liason between her and prospective student, but that party was not named in court.

Martin pleaded guilty to a felony charge of accepting a bribe as an agent of a program that receives federal money. She will be sentenced in July and faces up to 10 years in prison. The school fired her in March 2017, a spokesperson for the historically Black school told NBC.

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“The defendant abused her position at a public university to personally profit and to defraud her employer,” Delaware District Attorney David Weiss said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“Individuals who accept bribes while serving in a public capacity risk undermining trust in those institutions,” he continued, adding, ”Delaware taxpayers have the right to expect honest services from our public employees. When those employees fall short of these expectations my office will hold them accountable.”

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