Fraudulent Student Jailed for Falsely Listing Harvard on Resume
Adam Wheeler, a former Harvard student kicked out of the university for false statements on his admissions application, has been sent to jail for including the school on his resume when applying for a job. For violating this condition of his probation, he now faces a possible two-year sentence.
Wheeler was a student at Harvard in 2009 when he attempted to get the school’s endorsement for Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships by bulking up his application with a string of lies. He was soon kicked out of the Ivy League school after an investigation uncovered several false claims on his application for admission into the university.
The school then pressed charges, and Wheeler was sentenced in 2010 to two-and-a-half years in jail and ten years on probation for identity fraud and other charges. However, Wheeler served just one month in jail while awaiting trial and his sentence was suspended.
The terms of Wheeler’s probation required that he not represent himself as a Harvard student or graduate. But, Wheeler’s attorney, Steven Sussman, confirmed that Wheeler had violated his probation by stating on his resume and in a cover letter for a job application that he attended Harvard.
Sussman said, “He obviously made a mistake.” The attorney explained that Wheeler had lost a job over the summer and had been feeling “financial pressure” to support himself and to pay court-ordered restitution to Harvard.
Prosecutors in the case have said they will ask that Wheeler serve the remainder of his sentence in jail and argued at the hearing that he be held without bail until a judge decides whether or not he should be given jail time. According to Assistant District Attorney John Verner, prosecutors consider Wheeler to be a flight risk since he knows he may go to jail.
At Wednesday’s hearing, the judge agreed with the prosecution and ordered Wheeler held without bail, citing his possible jail sentence and concern over his “mental health status.”
After Wheeler left Harvard in 2009, he applied and was accepted to Stanford as a transfer student, until Stanford heard media reports about his arrest and rescinded. At his hearing Wheeler apologized and said he was “ashamed and embarrassed.”