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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Parent in College Admissions Case Sentenced to Prison

Defendant engaged in exam cheating scheme on five occasions

BOSTON – A California man was sentenced today for agreeing to pay more than $500,000 to participate in the college admissions scheme for his two children.

Manuel Henriquez, 56, the founder of Hercules Capital, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to six months in prison, two years of supervised release during which time he is ordered to conduct 200 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a fine of $200,000. In October 2019, Henriquez 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.

Beginning in 2015, Henriquez conspired with William “Rick” Singer and others to secure his children’s admission to selective colleges and universities through bribery and fraud. In June 2015, Henriquez paid Singer to have a corrupt proctor correct his older daughter’s answers on the SAT II subject tests. In October 2015, Henriquez again paid Singer to have a third party correct his older daughter’s answers on the SAT exam. Henriquez pursued exam cheating through Singer for his younger daughter on three additional occasions in 2016 and 2017, once in Houston, Texas and twice in Los Angeles, Calif. Finally, Henriquez paid Singer $400,000 to facilitate his older daughter’s admission to Georgetown University as a purported tennis recruit, even though she did not play tennis competitively.

In March 2020, the defendant’s wife, Elizabeth Henriquez, was sentenced to seven months in prison, two years of supervised release, during which time she is ordered to conduct 300 hours of community service, and ordered to pay a fine of $200,000. 

Manuel Henriquez is the 28th parent to have pleaded guilty and the 20th parent to be sentenced in this case.

Singer previously pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government’s investigation.

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, Kristen A. Kearney, Karin M. Bell and Stephen E. Frank of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

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.

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Updated July 29, 2020