Attorney General Spitzer and State Education Commissioner Richard Mills today announced the arrests of three city residents in the theft of the dental licensing exam administered by the American Dental Association. The defendants used a high tech system involving a concealed camera and computer monitor to steal the test, which is given to an estimated 20,000 dental students nationwide annually. The test, which is administered twice a year, is taken by students who wish to obtain a license to practice dentistry.
The theft allegedly occurred when one person posing as a test taker transmitted the image of the exam using a concealed camera to the two co-defendants who were in a car outside monitoring the transmission on a computer monitor. The defendants are: Svetlana Bogomolova, 28, of 2 Gaylord Drive North, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Yelena Tayba, 35, of 201 Brighton Ave., Brooklyn N.Y. and Nicola Kapitanov, 33, of 67 McArthur Ave., Staten Island N.Y.
“These defendants threatened to put dental patients throughout New York at risk,” said Spitzer. “Had their plans to sell the tests been successful, an unknown number of unqualified dental school graduates would have received a license to practice.”
State Education Commissioner Richard Mills said “The arrests were the result of quick action and great teamwork between the Attorney General and the State Education Department. Those arrested used sophisticated electronic equipment. This shows the need to anticipate increasingly varied and clever schemes to defraud the public. We will continue to take all possible actions to protect the public.”
The defendants are charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree, and Obstructing Governmental Administration in the Second Degree.
The case was investigated for the Department of Education’s Office of Professional Discipline by Supervising Investigator Thomas Meade and Senior Investigator Wanda Meade. The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Ronda Lustman, under the supervision of Criminal Prosecutions Chief Janet Cohn and the head of the Criminal Division, Peter B. Pope.
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