High school honors student turns out to be 23-year-old Ukrainian man

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Police say a central Pennsylvania high school honors student was actually a 23-year-old Ukrainian national using a false identity after his visa expired.

Artur Samarin was arrested and charged Tuesday by the Harrisburg police.

Police say he pretended to be Harrisburg High School student Asher Potts, who had a 4.16 grade-point average and was in the National Honor Society. Samarin was actively involved at the school, working with a student advisory group on a food bank, and a member of the school’s ROTC and Naval Sea Cadet programs.

Police say he had a Pennsylvania driver’s license in Potts’ name when he was arrested. They believe the identity was made up and that no person’s identity was compromised.

School officials issued the following statement to PIX11 sister station WPMT:

“While we do not know all of the details surrounding the arrest, we are treating this as a serious matter,” said Kirsten Keys, Public Relations Coordinator.  “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.”

Online court records don’t list an attorney for Samarin, who remained in the Dauphin County jail Thursday on charges including identity theft and tampering with public records.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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