Post on Reddit unveils Lehigh University student's fraud

Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Post on Reddit unveils Lehigh University student's fraud
Post on Reddit unveils Lehigh University student's fraud

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A Reddit post unraveled a web of lies by a student at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

As it turns out, his entire application was made up.

Aryan Anand, 19, pleaded guilty earlier this month in Northampton County.

Aryan Anand
Aryan Anand

Lehigh had given Anand a full scholarship to attend the school from his native India.

Anand had been enrolled, but a Reddit moderator flagged one of his posts.

It was blatantly titled: "I have built my life and career on lies."

The post went on to describe how Anand falsified transcripts, financial statements and even provided a fraudulent death certificate for his father, who is actually alive.

Northampton County Assistant D.A. Michael Weinert says that moderator might not have known who to notify but for a critical mistake made by the author.

"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," Weinert said.

Anand was arrested two months ago on a string of charges including felony counts of forgery and theft of services.

Anand faced the prospect of 10 to 20 years in prison, but at the behest of university officials, his punishment consists only of expulsion from the school and deportation back to India.

"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.

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