Concordia student, tutor face criminal charges over cheating allegations
A Concordia University student and his tutor are facing charges after allegations surfaced that they colluded to cheat on an exam.
Twenty-four-year-old Abdullaziz Almuhaidib was charged with conspiracy and impersonation while his tutor, 27-year-old John Karras has been charged with conspiracy, identity fraud and using a forged document after the two hatched a plan that saw Karras take an exam for his client last spring.
Karras is the owner of Montreal Tutoring. When reached, he declined to comment.
In 2015, Concordia revised its academic code of conduct to tight security measures during exams.
“Really, less than one per cent of our students have code of conduct charges filed against them,” said Concordia Vice-Provost Catherine Bolton. “Of those that are exam related, they’re down to maybe a dozen a year.”
Almuhaidib and Karras are being charged under section 404 of the criminal code, which is specific to exam writing and carries a maximum jail sentence of six months and a $5,000 fine. Attorney Andrew Barbacki said the that section is rarely invoked as university’s usually opt to deal with cheating internally.
“Generally, it’s an offence which applies to young persons at the outset of their career and I suppose the philosophy is to give them a chance and not burden them with a serious criminal record,” said Barbacki.
Several Concordia students expressed shock at the allegations on Saturday.
“Imagine if someone who didn’t know how to build a bridge said that they knew, they did the math, they came up with this design and someone at city hall says, ‘You’re the engineer, so I’ll take your word for it,’” said engineering student Raphael Yeung. “Then, everyone drives on it every day. That’s kind of a big deal. I can see why they would bring criminal charges.”
Both Karras and Almuhaidib are scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 8.