Someone hit the "panic" button beside Larry Summers' desk—the Ivory Tower has been breached! A 23-year-old former Harvard student, Adam Wheeler, stands accused of lying in his Harvard, Fulbright, and Rhodes applications, and now faces 20 criminal charges.
Adam Wheeler, 23, was indicted on 20 counts of larceny, identity fraud, falsifying an endorsement or approval, and pretending to hold a degree. Wheeler was allegedly "untruthful" in his applications to the University and in scholarship applications, according to a statement released today by Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone.
He falsely claimed to have perfect SAT scores, to have prepped at Andover, and to have attended MIT. (Why would you lie to make yourself seem even more insufferable? Isn't the mere fact of being a liberal arts student at Harvard enough?) Wheeler is also believed to have stolen some $45,000 in grants, scholarship, and financial aid by acquiring it under false premises. He even applied for Fulbright and Rhodes Scholarships—and is thought to have lied there, too:
His application packet included fabricated recommendations from Harvard professors and a college transcript detailing perfect grades over three years. Wheeler's resume listed numerous books he had co-authored, lectures he had given, and courses he had taught, according to authorities.
Wheeler also had some successes: The English department awarded him the Hoopes and Winthrop Sargent Prizes in 2009, as well as a grant for academic research. Brilliant, lying, Ivy League manipulators—is there an alumni club for that?