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Polish cops arrest man suspected of posing as Israeli scholar

(JTA) — A 46-year-old man who pretended to be an Israeli professor was arrested in Poland for having defrauded three Polish colleges in 2010.

Polish media reported that the man, identified as Mariusz K., was arrested last week in Krakow, where he fled when the case came to light.

In Krakow, he had grown a long beard, disguised himself as a Hasidic Jew and enrolled in the Jewish studies program at Jagiellonian University, the reports said.

Several news sites ran a picture showing a bearded man wearing a large kippah, his face obscured, being escorted by police to the prosecutor’s office. The news site of the Rzeczpospolita newspaper posted video showing the man, apparently handcuffed, being locked into a cell.

Rszeczpospolita said Mariusz K. had used a false Israeli ID and a variety of other false documents attesting to his academic and other credentials in order to be hired as a university lecturer.

According to Rzeszpospolita, he taught at the Higher School of Business and Social Sciences in Otwock; at Lazarski University in Warsaw; and at the University of Natural Sciences and Humanities in Siedlce.

The reports said several hundred students who had him as a professor will have to repeat their exams. It was not clear why Mariusz K. had carried out the alleged fraud, but the reports said he had been paid a total of about $40,000 from the three schools.

 

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