6 Most Infamous Harvard Swindlers

Adam Wheeler may be the latest, but he's not the worst
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2010 3:30 PM CDT
6 Most Infamous Harvard Swindlers
The book written by Harvard student Kaavya Viswanathan 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life,' is seen among three books she is suspected of plagiarizing May 2, 2006 in Cambridge, Mass.   (Getty Images)

Adam Wheeler, the former Harvard student charged with plagiarizing his way into the school and swindling $45,000 in scholarship and grant money, isn't the first grifter to pass through the esteemed university's halls. AolNews lists six even more infamous Harvard fraudsters:

  1. Esther Reed: Went by Natalie Bowman when she attended Harvard, only to disappear in 2005 and resurface at Columbia having assumed the identity of Brooke Henson. She was arrested in 2008, having reeled in $100,000 in fraudulent loans. She's working on a 4-year prison sentence; Amanda Seyfried is working on a film about her life.

  1. Kaavya Viswanathan: Published How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life while a Harvard student, to much fanfare—until it was revealed that several of her book's passages were nearly identical to ones by Megan McCafferty, Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella. Unlike many of her fellow fraudsters, she's managed to move beyond this, and is currently interning at an NYC law firm.
  2. Gregory Earls: The daddy of three kids who went to Harvard, this banker turned his Ivy League contacts into investors who poured $20 million into a private firm he created. He then spent $14 million of that on himself—and on his daughter's tuition. He was sentenced to 10 years hard time in 2005.
Click here for rest of the list, which includes a murderous teen.
(Read more Harvard stories.)

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