The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014
Aleksey Vayner
Well, this was brought to my attention by both Outeast and Goobermaster (Thanks, guys.) and, now that I have a new computer that's able to show videos without shutting down, I can see why.

Aleksey Vayner sent his resume to an investment bank. He's going to be a class of '07 Yalie, and he's looking for a job. Fair enough. However, along with the resume and covering letter he attached a video. That would be when the fuss started. The IvyGate blog - one which covers events in the Ivy League - posted the video on YouTube. (Although they were forced to remove the video, it can still be seen as part of the October 6th blog post.)

The video in and of itself is bad enough - I cannot imagine anyone being undecided as to whether to hire him then, on the strength of it, deciding they would. The details about this man that came out afterwards are even less inviting.

Firstly, Vayner Capital Management LLC. (The site is now mysteriously unavailable.) Seems he's CEO of this company. Before the site was removed, the overwhelming similarity of some of the content to that of Denver Investment Advisors was noted. There is no proof of his company ever having existed.

Secondly, his Youth Empowerment Strategies charity. Despite there really being a Youth Empowerment Strategies charity, his is not it. Vayner's charity claims to have four stars from Charity Navigator, a guide to which charities are real, and which are not. Charity Navigator say that this is not true, and are considering legal action against him.

Thirdly, he lists on his resume a self-published book, Women's Silent Tears, about a gendered view of the holocaust. Before he removed the listing from lulu.com, it was found that the entire section on euthanasia was lifted from the online Holocaust Encyclopedia.

There are a number of comments from people who knew him on the IvyGate blog, mentioning various other stories he'd used. My favourite one has to be:
"I played for Yale tennis, and he tried to walk on the team. He got cut the second day. I had one conversation with him, and he claimed to have KILLED 24 people in the caves of Tibet."
Con Artists
Posted by Boo on Thu Oct 12, 2006


From the first time I saw it, it was very clear this was done tongue in cheek style. I can't believe so many people fell for it. No duh, he isn't involved with the charity, his investment firm doesn't exist, etc etc.

To be fair, he did change his last name from his real last name to a made up one for the resume and video.

I have yet to see anything that suggests he expected to be taken seriously. It was just a college prank.
Posted by Hitchcock  on  Thu Oct 12, 2006  at  06:27 PM
Killed 24 people in the caves of Tibet?

No wonder he had to create a false identity.

He's really the Yeti!
Posted by Big Gary  in  Hondo, Texas  on  Thu Oct 12, 2006  at  07:31 PM
I love the part about"We decided to not be too scared of the cease and desist letter Aleksey emailed us, given that he copied and pasted it from the first Google hit for "cease and desist letter," right down to the "very truly yours" signoff. Attorney .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Esq., really earned his fee there.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Thu Oct 12, 2006  at  07:45 PM
Can anyone find a working video?
Posted by ErikPSO  on  Thu Oct 12, 2006  at  09:45 PM
http://www.break.com/index/how_not_get_a_job.html
Posted by Scott  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  12:02 AM
I can't imagine this is simply a prank. I think he's a genuine schmuck who thought he could get away with padding his resume. I haven't watched the whole video, because the few seconds I've seen of it are horrible enough. But there's no way anyone would look at it and think he's good enough to hire. People who stand out sometimes do so because they're special, but most of the time, it's just because they're attention whores.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  11:34 AM
The website for his company has been cached by Google.

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:NEI5ZskU6pAJ:www.vaynercapital.com/index.html+"Vayner+Capital+Management+LLC"&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

It should be possible to retrieve and repair the entire site if one had the time to do it.
Posted by BugbearSloth  in  Mars, 4th Planet, Sol System  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  12:25 PM
I'd love to watch the video, but it has apparently been taken down for copyright infringment. And I was really hoping for a good laugh at someone else's expense. *sigh*
Posted by Tru  in  Other Words  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  03:26 PM
Here ya go, working video.

http://www.ivygateblog.com/blog/2006/10/all_the_aleksey_vayner_news_thats_superfit_to_print.html
Posted by Ponygirl  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  03:49 PM
If you still think this is a prank, read Gawker's coverage of this guy. It's meant to be legit, it's sad, and he is in fact a douchebag.

http://www.gawker.com/news/aleksey vayner/

(I particularly recommend the article written about him after he visited Yale as a pre-frosh in 2002:

http://www.gawker.com/news/aleksey-vayner/god-and-douchebag-at-yale-206436.php
Posted by Edward  on  Sat Oct 14, 2006  at  02:49 AM
Think Sidd Finch!
Posted by Jay Sauerkraut  in  Germany  on  Sat Oct 14, 2006  at  07:22 AM
What a pity he didn't publish his book in Australia. We would have given him a major literary prize for it!
http://www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/AHR/archive/demidenko/manne.1.html
Posted by Russell  in  Melbourne, Australia  on  Sat Oct 14, 2006  at  07:52 AM
Here is the full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7pok0TKDU8
Posted by ErikPSO  on  Sat Oct 14, 2006  at  01:18 PM
That video is way too straight-faced to have been a prank, and if that was the intention, it's a bit too realistic to be taken as satire.
Posted by Paul H.  in  Brooklyn  on  Sat Oct 14, 2006  at  03:29 PM
What in the heck is a "gendered view of the Holocaust"?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat Oct 14, 2006  at  09:11 PM
Well, I finally watched the video.
Either it's a very tongue-in-cheek parody of self-help/sucess seminars, books, etc., or he's auditioning to be committed to a mental hospital.

I did like the fact that a 6-minute video had almost a full minute of credits, though. Here's a suggestion for your next masterpiece, Aleksey: Try a one-minute video with six minutes of credits.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Palo Pinto, Texas  on  Sun Oct 15, 2006  at  04:11 PM
You really need to see this if you haven't already: http://www.wentsul.com/quotes -- these ARE meant tongue-in-cheek (they were written by people like me and you), but many are funny as hell: "Aleksey once microwaved a burrito so hot that even he could not eat it."
Posted by Gutza  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  04:44 AM
"From the first time I saw it, it was very clear this was done tongue in cheek style..."

Aleksey is so 'awesome' that to any normal person it would seem that he was doing the whole thing as a joke. But I've just spent half an hour reading all this (laughing my ass off BTW) and it's not, Aleksy is the real deal, read through the blog. I've known ppl who lie a little on their resume, but Aleksey takes it to the 8th dan. It was the video that has caused this viral sensation. The music he chose is the icing on cake. I've known ppl like this before... in the 8th grade. Usually by Aleksey's age they've already gone through this lesson.

A good chuckle to lighten up my Monday morning, Thanks Aleksey, You ROCK! don't let them bring you down!
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  01:12 PM
I hope the deushbag of alexy gets kicked out of princeton and ends up cleaning the shit of those that aren't as "succesful" as he is for the rest of his life.... asshole.
Posted by Jonnie  in  Denver  on  Mon Oct 23, 2006  at  12:25 PM
Too bad Enron is defunct, Aleksey would be perfect for them.

>>>What in the heck is a "gendered view of the Holocaust"?<<<

Well, of course, men are stupid, and so even the suffering and torture that male jews suffered during the Holocaust is not as valid and real and noteworthy as that which the brave women endured. Ask any female college professor.
Posted by Barghest  on  Mon Oct 30, 2006  at  06:16 PM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.