Former Delaware State University official pleads guilty to accepting bribes

Crystal Martin, a former registrar for Delaware State University, has plead guilty to taking over $70,000 in bribes in exchange for giving in-state tuition to out-of-state students.

“We are aware of the guilty plea of Crystal Martin, a former registrar for Delaware State University, and have been working in close cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s office,” said Carlos Holmes, director of news services at DSU. “Given the ongoing criminal proceedings, we cannot comment any further at this time.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Martin offered in-state status to hundreds of non-Delaware residents over a four-year span between 2013 and 2017. The school’s out-of-state tuition is $16,904, compared to $7,868 for in-state tuition.

Holmes noted that Martin’s employment with the university ended in March of 2017, but he would not comment on whether her termination was related to the charges.

“The defendant abused her position at a public university to personally profit and to defraud her employer,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss in a 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. 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.”

The charge comes on the heels of a wave of bribery scandals in higher education, including a number of celebrity parents who allegedly bribed and mislead school officials to get their children enrolled.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Education, and Delaware State Police, with assistance from the Delaware Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust.

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