Former Baruch College administrator admits committing grade fraud
A former Baruch College professor pleaded guilty Wednesday to "fraudulently inflating students' grades" to help them complete their requirements for a Master's degree, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office.
Chris Koutsoutis, 56, will be sentenced Feb. 6 on various charges including forgery.
"Dishonesty has no place in a college education," DDA Cyrus Vance said in a statement. "This defendant was entrusted with guiding students, but instead abused his position by falsifying records to show grades that did not reflect students' performance."
From Nov. 6, 2010 to June 2, 2011, Koutsoutis raised the grade-point average of eight students, who had failing grades, and submitted fake grade change forms with forged faculty signatures for seven students, claiming they handed in missing work.
During that time, Koutsoutis served as the Director of Executive Programs for advanced degree programs at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College.
The grading discrepancies were originally revealed through an internal investigation by Baruch College administrators, who put him on leave in August 2011.
The 15 students who were affected by his falsifying grades were given the chance to complete their degrees properly, the school said.
"We are heartened and satisfied that the case involving Chris Koutsoutis has come to completion with his guilty plea entered in court today," a Baruch College spokesman said in a statement.
The professor will serve a six-month jail sentence as part of his plea deal, the DA's office said.