Penn. Cops: Star Student Turns Out to Be Impostor

'Teen' is really a 23-year-old Ukrainian national, they allege
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2016 9:18 AM CST
Cops: Ukrainian Man Posed as US High School Student
He fooled school officials for almost a whole high school career, police say.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Asher Potts, 18, was a star student at Pennsylvania's Harrisburg High School: Among other things, he was a student rep with the school board, a candidate for local media's Best & Brightest program, a member of the ROTC and Naval Sea Cadet program, and runner-up for homecoming king, per PennLive. On top of that, he also had a 4.16 grade point average, took courses at a local university, and was involved with the National Honor Society. Even a state representative boasted of his accomplishments on Twitter in 2014. Then police discovered the teen—who enrolled in high school in the fall of 2012—was actually a 23-year-old Ukrainian national.

Police say Artur Samarin—arrested at his home Tuesday, according to a superintendent—outstayed his visa and took on the identity of Potts, obtaining official documentation including a Social Security card and driver's license, reports PennLive. His alleged true identity clears up a few things for one district official who met Samarin during his work with the school board. "I marveled at his maturity," he says. He was "focused and driven" and "always a gentleman." Samarin is charged with theft, identity theft, and tampering with public records. A district rep tells WHTM that officials are treating the situation as serious and are cooperating with police. (A woman gave a waitress the waitress' own stolen ID.)

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