Attorney: Stephayne Potts went to FBI months ago about Samarin

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HARRISBURG - The attorney for the couple who cared for a Ukrainian national and helped him enroll at Harrisburg High School to pose as a student made his first public comments Thursday, giving an inkling into the thought process of why Michael and Stephayne Potts would help Artur Samarin become Asher Potts.

“Their only interest was they believed that they were helping,” Corky Goldstein, who is representing Potts pro bono in this matter, said Thursday.

“They were assisting a young man who was being persecuted in the Ukraine and came here because his mother and grandfather wanted him to come to the United States to begin a new life and they were trying to help him.”

It is still unclear if the Potts will face any charges in this case. Goldstein says they are ready to face that possibility if it happens, and will cooperate fully with authorities as they already have in this matter.

“Stephayne Potts got in touch with the FBI several months ago and met with them and talked with them and told them the whole story from the very beginning,” he said.

Goldstein would not go into specifics on the circumstances of why Potts went to the FBI.

“I can tell you that they felt, based on information that had finally gotten to them, they had to go to the federal authorities,” he said.

Goldstein says the Potts, who did not file paperwork to legally adopt Samarin, still have strong feelings of love and care for him.

“They are very well-motivated and… they were very well-motivated in trying to help this young man,” he said.