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Adam Wheeler To Be Allowed To Leave Massachusetts

By Xi Yu and Julie M. Zauzmer, Crimson Staff Writers

Adam B. Wheeler, a former Harvard student charged with fabricating his academic history, received permission to leave the state of Massachusetts during a pre-trial hearing held at the Middlesex Superior Court on Monday.

Wheeler had been forbidden to leave the state after he posted $5,000 bail on June 14, about a month after his arrest in May.

This decision was reversed Monday after Wheeler filed a motion seeking permission to travel to his parents’ home in Delaware, according to a criminal supervisor at the court who wished to remain anonymous.

The official told The Crimson that Wheeler’s trip out of state will take place before Dec. 16, when he is next scheduled to appear in court for a change of plea hearing requested by his attorney Steven A. Sussman.

Wheeler pled not guilty in May to 20 counts of larceny, identity fraud, falsifying an endorsement or approval, and pretending to hold a degree. His trial is tentatively scheduled to begin on Feb. 7, if he does not change his plea.

Prosecutors allege Wheeler attempted to dupe Harvard, Yale, Brown, and several scholarship committees by submitting plagiarized letters of recommendation, fake transcripts, and fraudulent SAT scores.

He was admitted to Harvard as a transfer student in 2007, claiming in his application to have earned perfect grades at Phillips Academy in Andover and at MIT, where he said he had spent his first year of college.

In fact, Wheeler attended Caesar Rodney High School, a public school in Delaware, and spent two years at Bowdoin College in Maine before being suspended for academic dishonesty.

At Harvard, he resided in Kirkland House and won a Hoopes Prize his junior year for a paper that prosecutors now allege was plagiarized. He was apprehended by Harvard disciplinary officials and then by police in the fall of 2009, when the committee judging his Rhodes and Fulbright scholarship applications became suspicious of the integrity of his application materials.

Wheeler chose to leave Harvard in the fall of his senior year rather than face a disciplinary hearing before the Administrative Board. He then applied for transfer admission to Yale, Brown, Stanford, and the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College. Williams and Stanford had accepted him before they learned of the criminal charges against him.

Sussman could not be reached for comment about his client’s case this week.

—Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at xyu@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Julie M. Zauzmer can be reached at jzauzmer@college.harvard.edu.

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