Photo: janingar via Flickr
The Columbia admissions office has found itself at the centre of a new scandal: the Ivy League university may have been conned.The conman? Daniyar Nazarbayev, the step-nephew of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The New York Post reported that Nazarbayez—who had previously made headlines for stealing his former stepfather’s $20 million Plaza apartment—forged his way into Columbia’s class of 2010.
Here’s how he pulled it off according to The Post:
“When applying, Daniyar allegedly claimed he had graduated from a high school in Kazakhstan. He actually went to high school in Switzerland — and never graduated, sources said.”
But don’t think young Daniyar was alone in this.
His mother, Maira, reportedly had her son’s birth certificate altered shortly after she married Bolat Nazarbayev, changing his surname, Kesibayev to the President’s, Nazarbayev. (That’s like going from Smith to Obama, in U.S. terms).
Bolat Nazarbayev filed suit against the mother-son duo in Manhattan Supreme Court, but while the mother is allegedly hiding out at the Plaza, 24-year-old Daniyar is nowhere to be found.