Small detail on Reddit post unraveled foreign student’s lies that got him a free-ride worth $85k at US university

News & Politics

A foreign student admitted to fabricating documents and lying about his life in order to falsely secure a free-ride scholarship after he left a tiny detail on a Reddit post.

19-year-old Aryan Anand was awarded the financial award in order to attend Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

‘I have built my life and career on lies.’

Anand had claimed that his father had died and he had worked hard in order to apply to college from his native India. He even provided the university a copy of his father’s death certificate.

After he obtained the scholarship and attended the university, the student admitted to his fabrications in a post on Reddit that he appeared to believe was anonymous.

The post was entitled, “I have built my life and career on lies,” and detailed the falsehoods he spun in order to be accepted into an unnamed university with a large scholarship, including falsified transcripts and financial statements.

While the account was anonymous, an eagle-eyed user on the Reddit site noted that the account followed one other thread – that associated with Lehigh University.

“So, the moderator actually reached out to Lehigh to give them a heads up,” said Northampton County Assistant DA Michael Weinert.

The student was arrested in Northampton County and charged with numerous crimes related to falsifying records.

A slap on the wrist

Anand admitted to falsely obtaining the scholarship and even lying about the death of his father, who is still alive and living in India.

He agreed to a plea deal and admitted guilt to one count of forgery. And although Anand could have faced 10 to 20 years in prison, he was given a slap on the wrist at the request of the university.

The university also agreed to not seek $85,000 of restitution as long as Anand agreed to return to India.

Students who spoke to WPVI-TV agreed that the university made the right decision.

“He did steal a lot and that scholarship could have went to someone better, but I think LeHigh made the right decision,” said student Nick Carnevale, a senior.

“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 out all of this really was false,” said Weinert about the case.

The university released a statement praising the “diligent investigation by the Lehigh University Police Department that led to Aryan Anand’s arrest.”

LeHigh University was founded in 1865 and serves about 5,600 students.

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