24-Year-Old Who Faked Age for High School Gets 2 Months

Ukrainian man almost became homecoming king
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2016 3:20 AM CST
Artur Samarin arrives for a preliminary hearing in Harrisburg earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower, File)
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(Newser) – A 24-year-old Ukrainian man who faked his name and age to attend a Pennsylvania high school has been ordered to spend two months in prison on federal fraud charges. Artur Samarin—who called himself Asher Potts when he enrolled at Harrisburg High School in 2012—pleaded guilty to passport fraud and Social Security fraud in August, the AP reports. He has also admitted lying about his identity to get a free public education and having sex with a 15-year-old girl in 2014, when he was 22, and will be sentenced on separate fraud and sex crimes charges next week.

Samarin, who will probably be deported when he finishes his sentence, was a star student at Harrisburg High—and a runner-up for homecoming king—before his true age was discovered. At Thursday's hearing, his lawyers said he had been one of the most distinguished students in the high school's history and had supported charities, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, PennLive reports. The lawyers said Samarin had been pushed into the fraud by Michael and Stephayne Potts, a couple who became his "adoptive parents" but treated him like a servant—and reported him to authorities when he "escaped." They are also facing fraud charges related to Samarin's high school career. (Read more Pennsylvania stories.)

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