The former head of a Newport Beach-based bond management firm was sentenced Friday in Boston to nine months in federal prison for paying $850,000 in bribes to try and get his children admitted into USC and other elite schools as purported athletic recruits.
Douglas Hodge, 62, received the longest prison term of any of the 14 parents who have so far been sentenced for fraud and money laundering crimes in the nationwide bribery scandal, in which wealthy parents paid to have their children admitted to top universities as athletic recruits, even though they never had any experience in the sports for which they were being recruited. In other cases, parents paid to have their children’s entrance-exam scores doctored.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton ordered Hodge to pay a $750,000 fine, serve 500 hours of community service and remain on supervised release for two years.
The Laguna Beach resident — formerly the CEO of Pacific Investment Management Company, also known as PIMCO — pleaded guilty in October in Boston federal court 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.
Beginning in 2012, Hodge conspired with Newport Beach businessman William “Rick” Singer and others to pay bribes to facilitate his younger daughter’s admission to USC as a purported soccer recruit and his son’s admission to the university as a purported football recruit, federal prosecutors said.
In addition, two of Hodge’s children were accepted to Georgetown University as fake tennis recruits, and Hodge attempted to use bribes to get a fifth child into Loyola Marymount University, according to prosecutors.
Singer, who ran a for-profit college counseling business called The Edge College & Career Network, also known as the Key, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government’s investigation.
Dozens of parents and college athletic coaches were implicated in the 52-defendant scandal. Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman was released Oct. 25 from a low-security federal prison camp in Northern California 11 days into a 14-day sentence for paying to have a proctor correct her daughter’s answers on a college-entrance exam.
Huffman, 57, was sentenced to the prison time in September. She was also ordered to spend a year on supervised release, pay a $30,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service. The “Desperate Housewives” actress was the first parent to be sentenced in connection with the wide-ranging college-admissions cheating scandal, a probe dubbed “Varsity Blues.”
“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, have pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy, bribery and money-laundering charges in the scandal.