Police arrest second accused UCF grade-changer

Samuel Williams taken into custody July 3 on active warrant

Samuel Williams
Samuel Williams

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A second man accused of changing his grades at the University of Central Florida has been arrested, the UCF Police Department said Monday.

Samuel Williams, 25, was pulled over in a traffic stop July 3 in Winter Garden and taken into police custody on an active warrant.

Williams is accused of helping a student, Sami Ammar, change his grade in a UCF engineering class from an F to a B.

Ammar was arrested in late May.

Williams, who was seen on security footage with Ammar going into Mathematical Sciences Building room 306 -- the same room that housed a computer used to change Ammar’s grade, according to information detectives accessed from the IP address -- was sought by police, but not tracked down until this month.

Williams had a meeting set with investigators, but never showed up. He would instead be heading to California, his father said.

While authorities further investigated the grade-change situation with Ammar, they learned it was Williams who accessed the grading system and made the switches. Then they saw Williams’ grades were accessed as well, also from inside the same Mathematical Sciences Building, according to the arrest warrant.

Grades from professors were due to the university May 5. Williams’ grades were tweaked just before then, officials said.

On May 23, detectives went to a building on UCF’s main campus and spoke with a professor, who said the following in a sworn written and verbal statement: On May 2, the professor saw that Williams’ online quiz grades weren’t on record, meaning they showed scores of 0. But as he looked into the matter further, and called the UCF help desk for assistance, he learned someone had changed the grades -- from a 0 to a 9, from a 0 to a 10, from a 0 to a 5 and from a 0 to 4, the professor said.

When the professor emailed Williams and asked for a paper copy of his exam, he received no response. Williams was enrolled in one of the instructor’s online classes. The professor’s teaching assistant verified that she didn’t change any grades, either.

Detectives then found proof of someone attempting to access the online grading system with the professor’s credentials on May 2. In connection with this incident and Ammar’s arrest, Williams is now accused of property crimes -- for accessing a computer or electronic device without authority.

His warrant was issued June 22 in Orange County. No further details have been released on his Winter Garden arrest.

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