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Stanford accepted alleged Harvard con man

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 say in court documents.
Image: Adam Wheeler
Adam Wheeler, of Milton, Del., has pleaded not guilty to charges of that he used forged documents and plagiarism to fake his way into Harvard. Josh Reynolds / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

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 Stanford accepted Wheeler as a transfer student for the 2010-2011 school year. Stanford has since then rescinded Wheeler's admission, prosecutors said.

Shaw did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A message was left at his office.

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.

Wheeler allegedly lied about grades, SAT
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 told the official that the application wasn't truthful and their son 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.