by Julie Zauzmer and Xi Yu
Conning Harvard tells the story of Adam Wheeler’s lie-filled path into Harvard, his compulsive conning of grant and scholarship boards after enrolling, and the eventual discovery of his fraudulent past.
From the Inside Flap
Adam Wheeler’s plan was as audacious as it was illegal: He gained admission to Harvard through fraud. While countless students dreaming of an Ivy League education compete honestly, Wheeler resorted to faking SAT scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. And after he enrolled at Harvard, Wheeler plagiarized his classwork and bilked the university out of thousands of dollars in prizes and grants. But then he shot too far. He applied for nomination to the illustrious Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships, and that gamble finally exposed his academic fraud. Alerted that he was under suspicion, Wheeler fled Harvard but did not stop trying to scam universities. He filed more phony applications to top-tier schools until vigilant college administrators and eventually the police forced him off his computer and into court, thereby bringing to light his astonishing tangle of lies.