4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019 UPDATE: The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virignia, Mike Stuart, announced a plea was made in a mail fraud investigation from Greenbrier County. Mellissa Krystynak, 49, of St. Lucie, Florida pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
Krystynak was a counselor at Greenbrier West from 2011 to 2017. During that time she admitted to using her position to inflate at least 34 for her daughter’s grades. The girl then used the grades to receive 10 different college scholarships worth more than $20,000.
“This takes cheating to a whole new level,” said U.S. Attorney Stuart. “We expect to find students cheating. We don’t expect a parent abusing a position of authority to inflate her daughter’s grades and, adding even more harm, to use those fake grades to obtain federal benefits and, potentially, keep a deserving student from a legitimate opportunity. I think it’s fair to say that Krystynak might not be the best role model to emulate.”
Krystynak faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. She is set to be sentenced on May 16, 2019.
ORIGINAL STORY: A mother who worked at Greenbrier West High School is accused of fraud in a scheme where she allegedly faked her daughters’ grades. On Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, Mellissa Krystynak, 49, of Stuart, Florida was indicted by a federal grand jury on six counts of mail fraud.
Krystynak was a counselor at the Greenbrier West from 2011 to 2017. Two of her children attended the school while she was employed there.
According to the indictment, Krystynak used her administrator access to inflate 35 of her daughters’ grades. One of her daughters applied for and was awarded $10,000 in financial scholarships during her senior year. The awards were based on the fraudulent report cards and transcripts. The checks were being mailed to her daughter’s college.
If convicted, Krystynak faces up to 20 years in prison for each count. She is set to appear on Oct. 3, 2018 in front of U.S. Magistrate Omar Aboulhosn.