Del. man who was kicked out of Harvard and is accused of duping school later got into StanfordBy AP
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Man accused of duping Harvard got into Stanford
WOBURN, Mass. — A Delaware man charged with faking his way into Harvard was accepted at Stanford University after he was kicked out of the Ivy League school, prosecutors said in court documents filed Wednesday.
Adam Wheeler, 23, applied and was accepted to Stanford for the 2010-2011 school year after he was expelled from Harvard in October, according to documents listing evidence that prosecutors have turned over to Wheeler’s lawyer.
The documents were filed as Wheeler’s lawyer appeared in Middlesex Superior Court for a pretrial conference.
Wheeler, of Milton, Del., was indicted last month on 20 counts of larceny, identity fraud and other charges for allegedly conning his way into Harvard by falsely claiming he had attended the exclusive Phillips Academy prep school in Andover and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Authorities said Wheeler essentially stole $45,000 in financial aid, scholarship money and academic awards from Harvard.
In the court documents, prosecutors said a Harvard detective spoke with Richard Shaw, dean of undergraduate admissions at Stanford, who said the California school accepted Wheeler as a transfer student for the 2010-2011 school year. Stanford has since then rescinded Wheeler’s admission, prosecutors said.
Lisa Lapin, a spokeswoman for Stanford, confirmed that Wheeler was accepted to Stanford but said, “he will not be enrolled here.”
Lapin declined to comment on what Stanford did to check out Wheeler’s background and said the admissions process is confidential. According to Stanford’s policy, she said the school revokes any offers of admission to applicants who misrepresent facts during the application process.
Wheeler actually graduated from Caesar Rodney High School, a public school in Kent County, Del., in 2005. He attended Bowdoin College in Maine from 2005 to 2007, but was suspended for academic dishonesty, according to court records.
In court papers filed after his arrest, prosecutors said that at the time Wheeler was told he would be suspended from Bowdoin, he was completing his application to transfer to Harvard. But instead of applying as a suspended sophomore from Bowdoin, he said he was a straight-A student with a 1600 SAT score.
Wheeler was tossed from Harvard last fall after he tried to get the school’s endorsement for Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships, and a professor reviewing his applications found evidence he had plagiarized from another professor.
Prosecutors said previously that after Wheeler was dismissed from Harvard, he then tried to transfer to Yale or Brown by falsifying his achievement and recommendations.
Yale was tipped off by Wheeler’s parents. A Yale official called the Wheeler home to ask about his application, and one of his parents told the official that the application wasn’t truthful and that Wheeler had been thrown out of Harvard.
In documents filed Wednesday, prosecutors said Wheeler also applied to Stanford and the Williams College Seaport Maritime Studies Program at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.
Prosecutors said they intend to introduce Wheeler’s applications to other schools after his dismissal from Harvard as evidence of Wheeler’s “pattern of conduct and/or modus operandi.”
Wheeler’s lawyer, Steven Sussman, said he received a copy of a June 3 letter in which Stanford said it had revoked its recent offer of admission to Wheeler. Sussman said he will likely object to prosecutors’ plans to use Wheeler’s applications to other schools against him at his trial.
Wheeler is being held at the Middlesex County jail in Cambridge. Sussman said no one has posted Wheeler’s $5,000 bail.
Tags: College Admissions, Delaware, Education Costs, Education Issues, Fraud And False Statements, Massachusetts, North America, Theft, United States, Woburn