Young Man Poses As CLS Student, CC Grad

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As Above the Law reports, a young man using the name “Jose Olivo” pretended to be a first year student at Columbia Law School for the first semester of this year.  A group of actual CLS students noticed something was up with this young man and corroborated to confirm that, in fact, Jose never attended any class sessions and was not a real student at the Law School. A CLS spokesperson confirmed to ATL that Jose was reported by students and not registered now or ever at the school. This isn’t the first time this fine and secure university has been infiltrated by an impostor—remember Rhea Sen last year?

Although Jose was not sitting in on classes, he was attending 1L (1st year law students, for you not in the know) events and functions.  He was at a 1L dinner in Roone Arledge near the beginning of September and, when asked, claimed he “lost his nametag” for the event. Jose apparently had a fake Facebook account for a brother who attended Harvard Business School and represented Smith College professor Richard Olivo as his father. Current HBS students did not know anyone by his alleged brother’s name. Bwog has reached out to Professor Olivo and will let you know when/if we hear back from him.

It gets weirder: Jose was also posing as a CC’13 graduate.  At the beginning of this year, he approached an actual CC’13 graduate and Law School student, knowing him by name and asking about “their” graduation.  Jose apparently attended the Commencement ceremony, walking in robes and posting pictures and videos of it to his now-defunct Facebook.  Over the semester, Jose asked the CC grad about certain CC’13 notables—i.e. Ryan Mandelbaum (sup bro?)—to make it seem like he really was from the same class.  The CC grad had never seen Jose before this August.

Meanwhile on Facebook Jose was active, posting pictures to make it seem like he was living a lavish lifestyle among celebs and such. In one picture (see below and put on your glasses, screenshots obtained by Bwog are unfortunately quite small), he attested that he had a cronut delivered for $100 to avoid the madness in early August. The group of law students who investigated Jose (and really should consider going into detective work) noticed that he would take pictures from celebrities and post them as his own. Jose also actively interacted with CLS students online. When one girl got suspicious, she unfriended him, leading him to message her inquiring why she’d done so.  Apparently he suspected she was suspicious—his account was deleted before she had the chance to respond.

More than just interacting with CLS students and CC grads, Jose digitally interacted with Columbia undergraduates. One current undergraduate student confirms that Jose followed her on Twitter and often tweeted at her, mostly responding positively to things she posted on a personal blog. She never met him in real life but occasionally would respond to his tweets. Just goes to show you, your mother was right: you can never trust anyone online.

Update, 6:30 pm Professor Richard Olivo, a Columbia College graduate himself, told Bwog that several years ago, Columbia security contacted him because someone named Jose Olivo was attempting to divert his communications from the Alumni Office. Campus security confronted the individual, who admitted he had no connection to Columbia or to Professor Olivo.

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  1. Butler Library Employee

    This guy's photo hangs on the Wall of Shame in the Library Information Office in Butler 201 - where we decide the fate of anyone who wants access to the libraries. He's been banned from all libraries associated with CU for a years now.

  2. I don't understand  

    What did this guy do that was illegal? Pose as a student? Sure, that's creepy, but he never actually harmed anyone. It's a good thing no one figured out his real name. Hopefully he gets over this and finds an actual job somewhere.

  3. Butler Library Employee

    Trespassing/Impersonation. The libraries are not open to the public. You either need to be affiliated with the university, signed in by an affiliate, or pay up for a library card. Assuming another student's identity (UNI and all, btw) is not an option.

  4. Anonymous  

    I'll never understand why people do this. It's pitiable and pathetic.

  5. ryan

    wow i didn't mean to do that twice but yeah one time this dude messaged me asking me to forward all my class emails to him

  6. How NOT to

    attend a University without applying, getting accepted, enrolling in classes, paying for tuition, etc.

  7. So

    Does this happen at other schools?? Or are we just lucky and special?

  8. Anonymous

    I know that guy! His name is Josue Oliveras.

  9. but wait  

    why do people try to sneak in here...?

  10. posting his Facebook statuses?  

    i mean, they are pretty fuckin hilarious but still...

    don't know how comfortable I feel about that

    (the screen caps are really fuckin' small—can't tell if they were public or not)

  11. Two Thumbs Up

    Good reporting, Bwog. I love these kinds of stories. So crazy and interesting at the same time. Hope we hear more about this guy.

  12. Trololololololol  

    I know its bad to lie/impersonate, but I mean shit....I'll give him one tiny iota of recognition for the amount of effort that it took to pull off a scheme this big.

  13. Lol

    Looks like Jose illegally entered Columbia. Doesn't sound like something a person named Jose would do.

    • A

      Have any Joses entered Columbia illegally before??
      Have any Joses entered a university illegally before??

      What's your point? Is this because people in Mexico and such have escaped to the U.S. many times and Jose is a typical Spanish name? Is that your analogy? It's weak and kinda racist. I feel you are graspin for straws brah. Really reaching, and possibly trying too hard to be funny.


  14. wow

    on an unrelated note, i had a buddy from MIT who worked as a private investigator during college....a client once paid him to get some info about her husband who was an adjunct prof at harvard, who she suspected was having an affair with a PhD student. well.... (and i think he was drunk when he said this), he told me he once spent 2 months posing as a harvard student to investigate this guy. he got pretty damn close. ultimately it turned out that he wasnt cheating on her lol.

  15. i met this kid on the 116th subway...

    i am 90% certain it was him now. told me he was CLS, his name's jose (or something similar?0, and struck up a convo with me, mostly about religion. as i was getting off at my stop, he asked if i wanted to join the church of scientology. i said no thanks and got off. whole thing just seemed mad creepy.

  16. this guy should replace obama

    after obama is impeached. at least some of my friends would still have their health insurance, including one guy's aunt who's in the middle of treatment for a severe stomach ailment.

  17. Anonymous

    the hotmail account should have been a dead giveaway

  18. Anonymous

    @posting his Facebook statuses?: They were posted on the internet. That is the very definition of public / not private.

  19. Bob Jones

    @posting his Facebook statuses?: They were posted on the internet. That is the very definition of public / not private.

  20. Anonymous

    because we're Columbia... Having an Ivy League degree can open doors to industries, opportunities, and jobs that otherwise wouldn't look twice at you.

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