Former Harvard Student Who Faked Academic Achievements Jailed for Alleged Probation Violation

A former student at Harvard University who last year pleaded guilty to faking academic achievements by falsifying transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation to get into the prestigious school – and who took more than $45,000 in grants, prizes, and financial aid awarded to him based on lies and plagiarism – is back in jail without bail after allegedly violating his probation by portraying himself as a Harvard student and claiming that he attended the University in the past, The Harvard Crimson reports.

According to The Harvard Crimson report, the former student – who was originally sentenced to ten years of probation in December of 2010 – allegedly violated the terms of his probation when he submitted a resume that indicated he had attended Harvard and now faces a two-and-a-half year prison sentence if he is found to have violated his probation. He had lost his job in July and felt financial pressure to pay his rent and the $45,806 restitution to Harvard ordered by the court, the Harvard Crimson reports.

As reported by ESR News in May 2010, the former student was indicted last year on 20 counts of larceny, identity fraud, falsifying an endorsement or approval, and pretending to hold a degree, and was “untruthful” in his applications for scholarships and in falsifying transcripts that detailed an impressive academic career at top educational institutions. He was exposed after submitting applications for the Rhodes and Fulbright scholarship in 2009 when a professor noticed similarities between the student’s work and that of another professor and determined that the application packet was mostly plagiarized.

Whether a prestigious educational institution such as Harvard or a business, education verifications are an important part of an effective screening program to verify academic achievements of students and job applicants. The rise of “diploma mills” – largely online entities whose degrees are worthless due to the lack of valid accreditation and recognition – makes education verifications more necessary than even. The Accredibase™ Report for 2011 revealed a 48 percent increase worldwide in the number of known fake universities in the past year, and a 20 percent increase alone in the United States – the world’s fake college capital – which saw the number of known diploma mills rise from 810 to 1,008.

To combat diploma mills in the United States, schools are generally accredited by private organizations that are recognized as legitimate accreditors by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The CHEA website is at http://www.chea.org/. The U.S. Department of Education has also created a website where employers can search for accredited schools at http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx.   

For more information on background checks that included educational verifications, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – at http://www.esrcheck.com/ or call ESR Toll Free at 888.999.4474.

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco, CA area,
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions.  ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by less than two percent of all screening firms. This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com

About ESR News:
The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog –
ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com.

Sources:
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/11/9/adam-wheeler-harvard-returned-to-jail/.
http://www.accredibase.com/index.php?section=871&page=4493.