Aryan Anand
Indian student faked dad's death for scholarship, bragged on Reddit, got caught and deported Twitter / Anon Anonymous @OneOfYouNow69

An Indian student who gained a full scholarship to a top US university by faking his father's death is now set to be deported.

According to Lehigh Valley News, Aryan Anand, 19, has been charged with fabricating admission and financial aid documents to secure a spot at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. How he was discovered? A seemingly innocuous Reddit confession unravelled Anand's carefully constructed web of lies.

ABC News reported that among his fabricated transcripts are financial documents, and even his father's death certificate to secure a full scholarship at Lehigh University. This elaborate deception was exposed by his Reddit confession, "I have built my life and career on lies."

Reddit Post Leads To Downfall

In the post, Anand admitted his entire application was fabricated to gain entry to the American college. "I haven't told anyone how I got to where I am right now. It would destroy everything I have," he wrote. He then proceeded to expose his elaborate scam in a lengthy post.

Anand's deception went beyond forged documents and a fake death certificate. He created a fake email address to impersonate his school principal. Despite his attempt to remain anonymous, a Reddit moderator noticed the post and, with some investigative work, figured out Anand was a Lehigh student.

Information taken from screenshots of the email sent to Lehigh revealed that the moderator uncovered significant evidence about Anand's background through their investigation. This evidence included inconsistencies such as:

  1. His nationality (likely India)
  2. A fabricated death certificate (possibly for his father) was used to obtain a full scholarship
  3. Inflated academic results (around 91 percent)
  4. A fictitious school domain name and principal credentials

In the other screenshot, a reply from Detective Lieutenant David Kokinda confirms an investigation is underway regarding Anand's post on Reddit. The reply also confirmed that Anand's Reddit username was TransportationOk4728.

Northampton County Assistant DA Michael Weinert confirmed this, stating, "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."

The moderator then alerted the university and passed on all the evidence he had. This swift action led to Anand's arrest two months ago. He pleaded guilty to forgery on June 12 in Northampton County, and his admission to Lehigh has been revoked.

Lehigh University had awarded Anand a full scholarship, granting him the opportunity to attend their prestigious institution from his native India.

Expulsion, Deportation, And Legal Trouble

Despite facing potential prison time of 10 to 20 years for his elaborate forgery scheme, Anand struck a plea deal with the university. This agreement resulted in a more lenient punishment: expulsion and deportation back to India.

While students often seek ways to reduce college costs or gain access to valuable benefits, it's important to remember ethical boundaries. In March, a cautionary tale emerged when a 23-year-old student in Taiwan was arrested for allegedly attempting £1 million insurance fraud.

"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," said Weinert.

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

Another attempt to board a flight with a false identity made headlines recently. A 24-year-old Indian man was caught trying to travel to Canada disguised as a senior citizen with a dyed beard and glasses.