Intercollegiate faker Adam Wheeler scams Ivy League schools

Example of Harvard University architecture. These classical columns hold up the roof for a place of learning; Adam Wheeler's Harvard scam held up an entire administration to the flames of their own burning ignorance.

Harvard University is a pillar of higher learning. Administrators there are as observant as pillars, as Adam Wheeler has proven. (Photo: Flickr)

Ivy League college administrators no doubt viewed 23-year-old Adam Wheeler as a young go-getter. He had the grades, the references and more extracurricular activities than Batman. But as stories go, Mr. Wheeler’s tale was a bedtime fairy tale for our cynical age. The prince charming Adam Wheeler faked his entire educational career, according to ABC News. He gained admittance to Harvard University and was able to fool grant agencies into giving him more than $45,000 in grants, scholarships and other forms of financial aid, perhaps even including payroll loans. Now he awaits arraignment on more than 20 charges, among them identity fraud, larceny and forgery.

Adam Wheeler could roll fake transcripts in his sleep

It was all too easy for him to fool college staffers who were eager to collect his ill-gotten scholarship funds. The cash register sounds in their minds drowned out the thought of verifying his documents and claims. Or is it that Adam Wheeler simply was that good at the con? Whatever the case, administrators in charge of the Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships actually paid attention and began to uncover work samples Wheeler claimed were his own. The reality is that they were plagiarized, of course. One lie discovered led to another, and then the house of cards began to fall.

‘An elaborate, entangled web of lies’

That’s what Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone said about Adam Wheeler’s ruse. From the sterling prep school grades to allegedly perfect SAT scores that led to a stint at MIT, Adam Wheeler rode his lies into Harvard. He’d also applied at Brown and Yale Universities as an Ivy League transfer student. The reality of his scholastic situation is that he went to public school, did not have perfect SAT scores and had actually been kicked out of Bowdoin College in Maine.

Fellow students can’t figure out how Wheeler got so far

“What are these accomplishments if they’re not something that you kind of have done yourself?” one anonymous student asked the media. It was of course a rhetorical question, as much of the collegiate experience could be considered legalized fraud, with U.S. politicians fully on board. Then again, it can also be said that college indeed has value, but not quite as much as when a bachelor’s degree actually meant something.

(Photo Credit: / CC BY 2.0)

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