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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 7, 2020

Former CEO of PIMCO Sentenced in College Admissions Case

Defendant sought to gain college admissions for five children through bribery and fraud

BOSTON – The former chief executive officer of PIMCO, one of the world’s largest asset companies, was sentenced to nine months in prison today for paying bribes totaling $850,000 to secure his children’s admission to the University of Southern California (USC) and Georgetown University (Georgetown).

Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to nine months in prison, two years of supervised release and 500 hours of community service. Judge Gorton also ordered Hodge to pay a fine of $750,000. The government recommended a sentence of 24 months in prison.

In October 2019, Hodge pleaded guilty to 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.

Hodge conspired with William “Rick” Singer and others to pay bribes totaling $850,000 to secure the admission of two of his children to USC and two of his children to Georgetown over a period of nearly 11 years. He also sought unsuccessfully to use bribes to secure the admission of a fifth child to Loyola Marymount University (LMU).

Beginning in fall 2008, Hodge agreed to pay Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst to purport to recruit his daughter as a tennis player, thereby facilitating her admission to the university. In turn, Hodge paid Ernst $150,000. From 2010 to 2011, Hodge repeated the fraud for his son, who also did not play competitive tennis. After his son was admitted to Georgetown, Hodge paid Ernst $175,000.

Beginning in 2012, Hodge agreed to pay a total of $525,000 to facilitate another daughter’s admission to USC as a purported soccer recruit and another son’s admission to USC as a purported football recruit.

In 2018, Hodge returned to Singer to facilitate a third son’s admission to LMU. In December 2018, however, an LMU coach told Singer that Hodge’s son would be denied admission to the university based on his academic qualifications.

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.

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 charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

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Updated February 7, 2020