Student imposter claims fake baptism certificate came from Harrisburg church

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Stephayne Potts claims her “adoptive” son, Artur Samarin, admitted to them how he got into the United States.

“He told us his paperwork was forged,” said Stephayne Potts.

Potts admitted she helped Samarin get a baptism certificate so he could get a social security card. Samarin told ABC 27 where he got baptized when he called from prison.

“They go to this church, Church of God and Saints of Christ and they have their friends there, they knew rabbis, this is a Jewish church. They knew rabbis, elders and they got birth certificate, baptismal certificate from them that says I’m Asher Potts, I’m their son, that I’m born in 1997 and was baptized month after that and it’s like a snowball theory, now using the document to get social security card, drivers license and everything else,” said Artur Samarin.

ABC 27 has stopped by and placed several calls to the Church of God Saints of Christ in Harrisburg. No one has returned our calls.

Potts also claimed she went to the FBI in November to tell them about threats Samarin was making.

“He started talking about certain kids in the school that he wanted to hurt and then he talked about actually blowing the school up,” said Potts.

Potts told ABC 27 she talked to an FBI agent in Harrisburg named Bruce Doupe Jr. A woman who answered the phone at the FBI office in Harrisburg told ABC 27 there is an Agent Bruce Doupe in Jr. and then referred us to the FBI Office of Public Affairs. An FBI spokesman in that office said, “the FBI does not confirm or deny investigations, and we cannot comment on information we may have received.”

Potts also said Samarin talked about missing guns from the ROTC program at John Harris High School in Harrisburg.

“He told me that the ROTC was missing 5 M-16’s,” said Potts.

“One thing I can actually say is false is the whole M-16, five are missing from Harrisburg, not possible,” said William Rosario.

Rosario was a member of the ROTC at John Harris High School for four years and also knew Samarin. He contacted ABC 27 after hearing Potts’ comment.

“I just wanted to clear one thing up. There are no M16 at John Harris at all. We used CO2 guns or pump action rifles that shoot small pellets. The worse thing that could happen is you got a little bruise if you would get hit by it. The ROTC is a really good program. I just want it to have a good name still,” said Rosario.

Harrisburg Police also confirmed no weapons were missing from the ROTC program.

Stephayne and Michael Potts say they reached out to an immigration lawyer in Camp Hill.

“Her name was Tabetha Tanner and we actually went to her once or twice,” said Potts.

Samarin told ABC 27 the same thing when he called from prison.

“Her name was Tabetha and we actually went to her once or twice,” said Samarin.

Potts claims that lawyer also knew Samarin was here illegally.

“He told us his paperwork and everything was forged and how he really got into this country, so I went back to Tabetha with that information,” said Potts.

ABC 27 reached out to Tabetha Tanner for a comment.

“Due to attorney/client privilege, I cannot comment about the specific facts of this case,” said Tabetha Tanner. “As an immigration attorney, I have never knowingly filed any documentation and/or applications for a client which I knew or had reason to know were forged or otherwise falsified. Prior to filing any applications, I review the client’s personal documentation, and ask clients many questions to ensure that when I sign my name to the documents, they are true to the best of my knowledge.”


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