Douglas Hodge, the former chief executive of global investment giant PIMCO, and Michelle Janavs, a philanthropist from the Newport Coast, both pleaded guilty in Boston Monday to federal charges in connection with the college admissions scandal.
Hodge, who once led the giant bond manager Pacific Investment Management Co., was accused of bribing sports coaches at the University of Southern California and Georgetown University. He is one of 35 parents charged in the nationwide scandal and among 19 who pleaded not guilty after prosecutors announced the case in March.
In federal court in Boston on Monday, Hodge, 61, changed his plea to guilty, admitting to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest-services mail and wire fraud, as well as to money-laundering conspiracy.
The court set his sentencing for Jan. 22.
Michelle Janavs, a former executive of Chef America Inc., a food producer that created the Hot Pocket frozen snack, pleaded guilty to paying $400,000 to get her son admitted to Georgetown University as a fake tennis recruit in 2017. She separately paid $100,000 to help two of her daughters cheat on the ACT exam in 2017 and 2019, prosecutors said.
Her sentencing is set for Feb. 25.
In a prepared statement, Hodge said he took “full and complete responsibility” for his crimes and apologized to his family and “deserving college students who may have been adversely impacted by this process.”
“I acted out of love for my children,” he said, “but I know that this explanation for my actions is not an excuse.”
Hodge paid Newport Beach businessman William “Rick” Singer $200,000 to misrepresent his daughter to USC as a soccer standout, co-captain of “a Japanese national soccer team” and an “All-American midfielder” which helped secure her admission to the school in 2013 as a recruited athlete, according to charging documents filed in federal court.
Singer wired $100,000 to two USC soccer coaches, Ali Khosroshahin and Laura Janke, who were complicit in the scheme, according to an indictment returned by a grand jury in April. Both coaches pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and are cooperating with prosecutors. In 2014, Hodge paid another $325,000 to ensure his son was admitted to USC as a bogus football player, prosecutors said.