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Kid ALMOST fakes his way through Harvard

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Thought this was kind of funny.......


WOBURN, Mass. - A Delaware man accused of faking his way into Harvard and duping the Ivy League school out of $45,000 in financial aid, grants and scholarships pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 20 criminal charges.

Adam Wheeler of Milton, Del., was ordered held on $5,000 bail Tuesday. He has been charged with larceny and identity fraud, among other charges.

If he makes bail, he must stay away from Harvard, Phillips Academy in Andover, Yale, Brown, and McLean Hospital all locations that prosecutors say are intertwined in his life of "lies and deceit." He must also surrender his passport and remain in Massachusetts.

Middlesex County Assistant District Attorney John C. Verner told Clerk Magistrate Michael A. Sullivan that Wheeler submitted fraudulent documents including plagiarized essays, letters of recommendation, false transcripts and fake SAT scores to Harvard College, among other institutions, the Harvard Crimson reported.

"Mr. Wheeler pled not guilty. He'll have his day in court," said Steven Sussman, the defendant's lawyer. "He's not convicted of anything."

"He's a kid," Sussman added, according to the Crimson. "He's never been in trouble before."

'Lies and deceit'

Prosecutors allege the 23-year-old Wheeler claimed he got straight A's at Phillips Academy Andover and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before enrolling at Harvard. They say he had never attended either school.

Ultimately, authorities said, Wheeler's attempts to be an overachiever were his undoing: Harvard started to look into Wheeler's background after he sought the school's endorsement for Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships. A professor reviewing his application noticed similarities between Wheeler's writing and that of a colleague, prosecutors said.

Wheeler, who was studying English, was trying to transfer to Yale and Brown when he got caught in the "web of lies and deceit," Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone said Monday.

"This defendant's actions cheated those who competed honestly and fairly for admissions and for the scholarships that this defendant fraudulently obtained," Leone said.

In January, authorities say, Wheeler submitted transfer applications to Yale and Brown. In his applications, Wheeler said he was employed by McLean Hospital, a psychiatric facility affiliated with Harvard, even though he was not, Leone said. His transfer application included faked recommendations from an employee at the hospital and from his former Harvard dean, Leone said.

Harvard released a statement saying it could not discuss individual cases because of federal privacy laws and referred all questions to the Middlesex District Attorney's office.

Before attending Harvard, Wheeler was a student at Bowdoin College in Maine from 2005-07, but was suspended for academic dishonesty, authorities said.

Edited by ConnFalcon
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