Former CEO of Pimco Pleads Guilty in College Admissions Case
BOSTON – A California man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to using bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate his children’s admission to the University of Southern California (USC) as purported athletic recruits.
Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, Calif., the former CEO of Pimco, pleaded guilty today to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for Jan. 22, 2020.
Beginning in 2012, Hodge conspired with Rick Singer and others to pay a total of $525,000 to facilitate his younger daughter’s admission to USC as a purported soccer recruit and his son’s admission to USC as a purported football recruit. In September 2012, Singer sent high school transcripts for Hodge’s younger daughter to Laura Janke and Ali Khosroshahin, the coaches of the USC women’s soccer team. They fabricated a soccer profile for Hodge’s younger daughter, which was then submitted as part of her application to USC. In February 2013, a senior athletics administrator at USC, Donna Heinel, allegedly presented Hodge’s younger daughter to the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions – and based on the falsified soccer credentials – secured her admission to the university as a purported soccer recruit. On April 9, 2013, after Hodge’s younger daughter received a formal acceptance letter from USC, Hodge wired $150,000 to Singer’s for-profit college counseling business and $50,000 to Singer’s sham charity, Key Worldwide Foundation, to pay for the bribery scheme.
In January 2015, Singer e-mailed two falsified athletic profiles of Hodge’s son created by Janke—one relating for football, the other for tennis—to Hodge and instructed Hodge to e-mail them to the senior athletic director at USC. In February 2015, Hodge’s son was approved by the USC subcommittee for athletic admissions based on the falsified football credentials after being presented by the senior athletic director. In March 2015, Hodge mailed the athletic director a $75,000 check made payable to USC “Womens Athletic Board,” a fund she controlled, after Hodge’s son was formally accepted to USC. In April 2015, Hodge wired $125,000 to Singer’s business and $125,000 to Singer’s sham charity to pay for the bribery scheme.
Case information, including the status of each defendant, charging documents and plea agreements are available here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/investigations-college-admissions-and-testing-bribery-scheme.
The charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O’Connell, Leslie A. Wright and Kristen A. Kearney of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the cases.
The details contained in the court documents are allegations and the remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.