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.