Harvard Student Busted for Stealing Grants

He faked life story, prosecutors say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2010 1:20 AM CDT
Adam Wheeler, 23, has been charged with four counts of larceny over $250, eight counts of identity fraud, seven counts of falsifying an endorsement or approval and pretending to hold a degree.   (Middlesex District Attorney)

(Newser) – A former Harvard senior is facing 20 criminal charges for allegedly faking a life story to win admission to the university and then plagiarizing work to steal $45,000 in scholarship and grant money. Adam Wheeler's alleged deception was uncovered when a professor who suspected him of plagiarism went through his records and discovered a faked, straight-A Harvard transcript, and a false claim to have attended MIT, the Boston Globe reports. He used some of the fake information to apply for the prestigious Rhodes and Fullbright scholarships.

Wheeler, 23, "seriously undermined the integrity of the competitive admissions process, compromised the reputation of some of the finest educators and educational institutions in the country, and cheated those who competed honestly for what he fraudulently received," the district attorney said at a hearing yesterday. Wheeler left Harvard rather than face disciplinary hearings and applied to Yale and Brown, according to prosecutors His applications included a forged recommendation from the professor who first uncovered his deceit.

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