CRIME
02/25/2016 05:54 pm ET

Ukrainian Man Allegedly Posed As A High School Student For 3 Years Without Getting Caught

"I marveled at his maturity," a former school district official said.
Artur Samarin, 23, is accused of enrolling at a Pennsylvania high school and pretending to be a teenager.
Harrisburg Bureau of Police
Artur Samarin, 23, is accused of enrolling at a Pennsylvania high school and pretending to be a teenager.

Asher Potts had it all.

Just months before graduating, the Pennsylvania high school student reportedly had a 4.16 grade point average and had been nominated for Homecoming King. 

But it seems that the stellar student's perfect life was built on a lie. He was allegedly unmasked Tuesday as a 23-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who had managed to fool school officials for more than three years while studying at John Harris High School, Harrisburg Bureau of Police said.

Artur Samarin, as he was identified by police, allegedly used the alias Asher Potts and a fake ID to enroll at the Harrisburg school in the fall of 2012.

"I marveled at his maturity," Gene Veno, the school district's former chief recovery officer, told PennLive of the young man he thought he knew.

Veno described him as "focused and driven" and "always a gentleman."

Samarin was part of the school's ROTC program and the National Honor Society. In 2014, he was recognized for his accomplishments by Rep. Patty Kim (D-Pa.), who tweeted out a photo of them together using the hashtags "going places" and "proud."

Police got a tip about Samarin about two months ago, Sgt. Terry Wealand told the Associated Press. 

He said they believe he enrolled as a freshman after entering the U.S. under his real name. While studying, he lived with people he had befriended.

"I would think there would have to be someone who knew," Wealand said of Samarin's alleged scheme. "And if there is, they are going to pay, too."

In a statement obtained by CBS 21, Harrisburg School District public relations spokeswoman Kirsten Keys said they are cooperating with the police investigation.

"While we do not know all of the details surrounding the arrest, we are treating this as a serious matter. At this time, the investigation is in the hands of the Harrisburg Bureau of Police. The district will continue to cooperate fully with the police department as they move forward with their investigation," Keys said.

As of Thursday evening, Samarin is listed as remaining behind bars at the Dauphin County Jail on charges of identity theft and tampering with public records.

The John Harris High School's ROTC leader didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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