1. Esther Reed (aka Brooke Henson, Natalie Bowman) makes Wheeler's alleged crimes look like child's play. The serial con artist and identity thief showed up in Cambridge, Mass., in 2002 as Natalie Bowman,
2. Kaavya Viswanathan, Harvard class of 2008, signed a $500,000 two-book deal with Little, Brown while still in high school.
3. So-called "brilliant researcher" John Darsee came to Harvard Medical School in 1979 after earning a medical degree at Emory University. But suspicions among his colleagues soon sparked an investigation, which revealed that Darsee had fabricated data for more than 100 research papers, including work published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, among others. (In one instance, Darsee had recorded data from tests on dogs that required the excision of their hearts. Investigators, however, determined that at least one animal had been buried with its heart still intact.) The findings, along with the fact that none of his study co-authors were apparently aware of his misconduct, sent deep reverberations through the medical community. The National Institutes of Health asked Harvard to refund more than $100,000 that had been awarded to Darsee for research, and the scientific community was forced to acknowledge that journals' peer-review system provided few safeguards against intellectual dishonesty. Darsee left Harvard in disgrace, but he was able to secure a non-research-based medicine fellowship at a hospital in upstate New York.
4. Before there was Clark Rockefeller (who, by the way, manage to convince many that he had attended at Yale) there was James Hogue.
5. And before there was Bernie Madoff, there was Gregory Earls. The wealthy, Washington, D.C.-based merchant banker sent his three children to Harvard in the 1990s and co-chaired the Harvard Parents Fund, an alumni fundraising vehicle. He used these university connections to find new prospective investors, who poured $20 million into a private firm he set up while CEO of U.S. Technology. Of the $20 million, Earls used almost $14 million for personal expenses, including -- wait for it -- his daughter's Harvard tuition. In 2005, he was sentenced to a decade in prison.
6. Unlike the others, Gina Grant didn't pad her resume, steal someone's work, assume a fake identity or bilk people out of tons of money. No, the 18-year-old high school valedictorian from Lexington, S.C., merely left one small biographical detail off her Harvard application: the fact that she had bludgeoned her alcoholic mother to death with a crystal candlestick at age 14. Granted early admission in 1995, Grant was soon featured in a Boston Globe article about disadvantaged students who managed to excel. Shortly thereafter, newspaper editors received anonymous tips about the murder case, which had been sealed because Grant was a minor at the time. Harvard quickly rescinded its offer, but Grant didn't have to go far to continue her schooling. She graduated from nearby Tufts University in 1999.