A tip for getting into the school of your dreams: Lie like a $2 toupee!


A few years ago, at my 10th high school reunion, I was surprised and delighted to discover that my former Sex and Marriage teacher, a man that I particularly disliked, had been scammed by a 27-year old George Mason student and sometime porn star. Apparently the young man, Anoushirvan D. Fakhran, aka "Jonathan Taylor Spielberg," posed as Stephen Spielberg's nephew, claiming that he was doing research for a forthcoming movie. My former teacher, now the principal of the school, allowed the young man to attend classes, showed him around, and gave him numerous privileges that ordinary (read: paying) students were denied. Ultimately, "Jonathan" was discovered and my alma mater was massively humiliated. I think my former teacher was farmed out to another school.

Recently, I was reminded of this as Yale University suffered a similar scam. Akash Maharaj, formerly of Trinidad and Tobago, got into Yale with the help of a forged letter of recommendation from one of Yale's professors. This letter, combined with a forged Columbia transcript, made him look very impressive, and Yale welcomed him to the school, giving him $31,750 in financial aid. He also received $7400 in federal scholarships, $6739 in loans, and $900 from a federal work-study program. During his time at the school, he received a literary prize, found a boyfriend, and generally seemed to fit right in. Unfortunately, things soured with his boyfriend, who ended up ratting him out to the University. Not long after, his forgeries were discovered and it all came crashing down.