Indian Student Scams US University, Fakes Father's Death For Scholarship

Indian Student Scams US University, Fakes Father's Death For Scholarship

Anand, 19, admitted to forging financial records, transcripts, and even his father's death certificate.

Siksha MUpdated: Thursday, June 27, 2024, 06:03 PM IST
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Lehigh University |

Aryan Anand, a former student at Lehigh University, formed a complex plan, including lying and fraud, to earn a full scholarship and entrance to the prestigious Bethlehem institution, according to press reports from Northampton County's district attorney and local media. 

How did Anand's deceptive scheme unravel?

As part of the deceptive scheme, Anand, 19, admitted to forging financial records, transcripts, and even his father's death certificate, according to the district attorney's statement made public on Monday. Anand reportedly admitted, "I have built my life and career on lies," in a Reddit post that exposed his deceitful acts.

According to the release, the fraud involved making up an email address that looked like it belonged to a school principal in order to support his bogus allegations. This eventually led to his discovery. The Lehigh University police department launched an investigation after a Reddit moderator notified the university's officials about the incriminating post.

Lehigh University addresses forgery incident

Lehigh University spokeswoman Amy White expressed gratitude who reported the scam for their diligence. "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," she said.

After the inquiry, Anand, who had enrolled at Lehigh in August 2023, had his admission canceled. On June 12, he pleaded guilty to forgery, and according to defense lawyer Molly Heidorn, he was sentenced to one to three months in Northampton County Prison, which was served early for time already served.

As part of the plea agreement, Anand agreed to return to India, his home country, and Lehigh University waived its claim for restitution amounting to $85,000.  The announcement stated that as part of the deal, charges of stealing and tampering with documents were dismissed.

The probe into Anand's fraudulent actions, which horrified the academic community and had serious legal repercussions, came to an end on April 30 with his arrest.

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