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Indian student who faked father’s death for US college scholarship, arrested and deported


Bethlehem, PA, July 1, 2024: Aryan Anand, a 19-year-old former student at Lehigh University, has been deported to India following revelations of an elaborate scheme to secure admission and financial aid. Anand falsified academic transcripts, financial documents, and even created a fake death certificate for his father who is alive and well, to obtain a full scholarship.

The scam came to light when a Reddit post titled “I have built my life and career on lies” was flagged, leading to an investigation by Lehigh police. Anand was charged with multiple felonies, including forgery and theft by deception. He pled guilty and was released to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, agreeing to return to India without the university seeking restitution of approximately $85,000.

“I haven’t told anyone how I got to where I am now. It would destroy all I own,” Anand wrote in his Reddit confession. He detailed how he hacked the system, including setting up a phony email address to impersonate his school principal. Although Anand did not identify himself or the university in his post, a vigilant Reddit moderator noticed that he followed only Lehigh University and informed the institution.

Michael Weinert, Assistant District Attorney for Northampton County, stated, “The defendant followed only one other university, Lehigh University. So the moderator contacted Lehigh to inform them.”

The moderator presented all the evidence collected to the university, leading to Anand’s arrest on April 30. He was charged with second-degree felonies for forgery and record tampering, as well as third-degree felonies for deceit and theft of services. Anand pleaded guilty to forgery on June 12, 2024.

Lehigh University has rescinded Anand’s admission. The university expressed gratitude for the tip to its ethics hotline and praised the comprehensive investigation conducted by the Lehigh University Police Department that led to Anand’s arrest.

This case has raised concerns about the verification processes for international students applying to U.S. universities​.

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