Crystal Martin, in guilty plea, could see up to 10 years in prison

Delaware, like Hollywood, is getting national attention for its own college bribery scandal after a former Delaware State University employee pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally receiving over $70,000.

The money was intended to lower the tuition for out-of-state students so they’d pay in-state tuition. In-state tuition per year at DSU is $7,868, and out-of-state tuition is $16,904, according the university's website.

That scheme lasted from 2013-2017 and cost DSU over $3 million, according to a public statement from David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware.

Crystal Martin, former associate registrar for DSU, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to a charge of bribery where she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

“The defendant abused her position at a public university to personally profit and to defraud her employer. Individuals who accept bribes while serving in a public capacity risk undermining trust in those institutions,” Weiss said in a public statement.

“State universities have the right to offer benefits to in-state students in the form of reduced tuition; they also have the right to expect their employees to uphold and support their mission," the statement read. "And 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.”  

DSU spokesman Carlos Holmes said DSU doesn’t have much to say at the moment.

“We are aware of the guilty plea of Crystal Martin, a former Delaware State University employee, and have been working in close cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Given the ongoing criminal proceedings, the university cannot comment at this time,” Holmes said.

Martin’s sentencing is scheduled for July 1, 2019, before Richard G. Andrews, U.S. district judge for the District of Delaware.

The DSU scheme is the latest in college bribery scams. In a separate case, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts is tasked with prosecuting Hollywood stars in the biggest college admissions scam in Department of Justice history, in which the news broke in March.

Fifty people have been charged in the Hollywood scandal, involving $25 million in bribes for the children of entertainers, CEOs and coaches in order to gain access into prestigious colleges and universities, according to Forbes.com.