A quick glance at Adam Wheeler’s credentials would have impressed most anyone at first glance. At 23 years of age, Wheeler had already attended some prestigious institutions including MIT and Phillips Academy, won numerous awards, and collaborated on several books. Harvard found Wheeler’s accomplishments equally impressive and offered him a full ride at the university. Too bad he was nothing more than a sham. Harvard officials discovered the illegitimacy of the student’s background after having reviewed his application for the Rhodes and Fulbright scholarship. It turns out that Wheeler submitted the work of a professor from the school with his application. Following an investigation, the student was turned over to police officials. Wheeler is now facing criminal charges, among them fraud, for conning some prestigious institutions out of nearly $45,000 worth of grant and financial aid money.
The student managed to maneuver his way into Harvard after submitting falsified teacher recommendations from MIT professors, SAT scores, and transcripts. The student attended none of the schools which he listed on the application, but rather had a short stint at Bowdoin College in Delaware before he was dismissed for academic dishonesty. According to the Boston Globe, Wheeler was very careful to ensure that the forged documents he submitted to schools were as close to the real thing as possible. They would have been passable had it not been for an English instructor at Harvard that questioned the student’s essay submission. When confronted about the issue, Wheeler said he was no longer interested in attended Harvard and took off. It was then that the full extent of his trickery was exposed. He is in custody in Cambridge waiting to be arraigned on nearly 20 charges stemming from his scheme.