Indian student uses fake death certificate of father to secure full scholarship in US university but makes a big mistake

Aryan Anand, 19, admitted his entire application was fake and pleaded guilty. He secured admission into the Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
First Published27 Jun 2024, 01:54 PM IST
Aryan Anand, 19, secured admission into the Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Aryan Anand, 19, secured admission into the Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.(Pexels)

An Indian student studying at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, built his career on lies until a Reddit post exposed his fraud. Aryan Anand, 19, admitted his entire application was fake and pleaded guilty in Northampton County earlier in June.

Anand was arrested on April 30 for forgery and theft of services. Before that, Lehigh gave Anand a full scholarship from his native India. Anand enrolled, but a Reddit moderator flagged one of his posts, titled "I have built my life and career on lies."

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According to Anand, the reason behind the lies was “securing admission and financial aid to attend a university in the United States”.

According to a news release from Stephen G. Baratta, the Northampton County District Attorney, Anand faced multiple charges: second-degree felony for forgery and tampering with records and third-degree felonies for theft by deception and theft of services. He was released on June 12 by Judge Jordan A. Knisley with a $25,000 bail.

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Anand then pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, a second-degree felony in Pennsylvania. He could have faced 10 to 20 years in prison, but university officials intervened, leading to his expulsion from school and deportation to India instead.

The Reddit post detailed how Anand faked transcripts, financial statements and even a death certificate for his father. The father, however, is still alive. Northampton County Assistant D.A. Michael Weinert mentioned that the moderator might not have known whom to inform if the author hadn't made a key error.

Key error by Aryan Anand

"The defendant only had one other university that he followed, which was Lehigh University. So, the moderator actually reached out to Lehigh to give them a heads up," ABC7 quoted Weinert as saying.

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"It was difficult to really verify these things. I think that was great work by Lehigh and their police force. They were able to really dig deep and find all this really was false," Weinert added.

Lehigh University "appreciates the report to its ethics hotline and the diligent investigation by the Lehigh University Police Department that led to Aryan Anand's arrest", the university said in a statement.

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First Published:27 Jun 2024, 01:54 PM IST
HomeNewsworldIndian student uses fake death certificate of father to secure full scholarship in US university but makes a big mistake

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