RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) – An entrepreneur who claims he received three perfect LSAT scores, and can help students do the same, is a fraud who must be stopped, a competing test-prep service says in court.
Robin Singh Educational Services Inc. dba TestMasters says David Hall “has been lying to consumers of LSAT preparation services about his achievements and qualifications” for over a year.
“Hall has tricked consumers into paying money to his company, Velocity Test Prep, based on a fictional record of his own performance on the LSAT,” the Riverside Superior Court complaint states. “Hall even forged official LSAT documents to convince consumers that he had earned three perfect LSAT scores and had accomplished the coveted feat of answering every question on the exam correctly.”
TestMasters and its founder Robin Singh say they have been providing LSAT test prep services for more than 20 years. Singh himself proves his expertise by claiming a world-record 12 perfect LSAT scores, according to the complaint. TestMasters is currently the second-largest LSAT preparation company in the world, the company claims.
“Knowing that LSAT preparation consumers look to proven expertise and the benchmark set by Singh – but not wanting to invest time building goodwill through legitimate means – Hall has decided to jumpstart his business by lying about his own performance on the LSAT,” the complaint says. “Specifically, Hall has used the internet to disseminate false claims and counterfeit documents concerning his achievements and qualifications as an LSAT preparation provider. And he has succeeded in gaining the attention of thousands of unsuspecting consumers, all to his financial benefit.”
TestMasters claims that Hall repeatedly boasts on his own website and LSAT discussion boards that he achieved a perfect score on the test in 2009, a feat that fewer than 0.1 percent of test takers manage.
“But answering every test question correctly is a feat even more rare, something that Robin Singh has accomplished only once in his entire career,” according to the complaint. “By advertising that he achieved a perfect score on the Sept. 2009 LSAT – and did so without missing any questions – Hall sought to distinguish himself from his competitors as a consummate LSAT expert and inspire consumer confidence in the superiority of Velocity’s test preparation services.”
TestMasters claims that Hall’s real score on that LSAT was 177, not 180 – and he missed four questions, not zero. And TestMasters alleges that Hall’s shenanigans don’t end at false scores.
“In an attempt to add legitimacy to his false claims, Hall forged – and then presented to consumers – official documents produced by the LSAC, the organization that administers the LSAT,” the complaint states. “One such document forged by Hall was his official LSAC score report for the Sept. 2009 LSAT.”
TestMasters alleges that Hall used a computer program called GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) to create an elaborate forgery of his LSAT score report. The company also claims Hall used GIMP to doctor a screenshot of his LSAT score history on the website for the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).
In fact, Hall’s forged LSAC screenshot gives him three perfect LSAT scores, the company says.
“When challenged by internet posters on Top-Law-Schools.com to verify his claim of having three perfect LSAT scores, Hall first attempted to evade their inquiries,” TestMasters says. “But when that failed, he sought to silence his questioners via forgery.”
Hall even compared those skeptical of his claims to “people who clamored for President Obama to release his official birth certificate but who then refused to accept its validity once he did so,” according to TestMasters, citing Hall’s alleged post on a Top-Law-Schools.com discussion board.
In January 2012, Hall publicly posted a screenshot of his LSAT score history from the LSAC website, supposedly showing his three perfect 180 LSAT scores.
When that didn’t satisfy the discussion board critics, TestMasters alleges that Hall “next used GIMP to manufacture an entire LSAT score report complete with a phony score of 180, a phony table of the answers he had given to all 101 questions, a phony ‘Number of Credited Responses’ and a phony ‘Number of Responses Not Credited.'”
“Hall’s false score claims accomplished their intended purpose of promoting Velocity’s LSAT preparation services,” according to the complaint. “The discussion thread that Hall began by posting ‘Three 180s and I’m taking your LSAT questions’ has been viewed more than 33,000 times.”
“Hall’s false score claims have generated a huge amount of free publicity for Velocity,” TestMasters added. “These false claims have caused others to lionize Hall as an LSAT ‘guru.'”
Worst of all for TestMasters and Singh, “Hall’s false story about achieving three 180s and answering every question correctly on the Sept. 2009 LSAT has inspired comparisons of Hall to the all-time perfect LSAT score record holder, TestMasters’ founder and owner Robin Singh,” the complaint states. (51)
After a February 2012 threat of legal action by TestMasters, “Hall removed only some of the falsehoods he had published, and disclosed only some of the true facts that he previously misrepresented,” according to the complaint. “In addition, despite receiving ample opportunity to do so, Hall has failed to post prominent, clear, specific and comprehensive corrections to his false claims and forgeries.”
But Hall’s corrections contain “additional false and misleading statements calculated to further confuse and deceive consumers,” TestMasters says.
“Hall claims that he made his previous false statements about his LSAT scores in ‘Good Faith’ and genuinely ‘believed … that [he] earned three perfect LSAT scores,” according to the complaint.
A Courthouse News scan of the “Dave Hall” page on Velocity’s website this week found that Hall touts “multiple perfect scores and over 7,000 teaching hours under his belt.”
TestMasters is suing for false advertising, misrepresentation and unfair competition. The company seeks an injunction, treble damages, restitution and disgorgement.
It is represented by William O’Brien of One LLP in Santa Monica, Calif.
(Image courtesy of LSAT Blog)