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Former Pimco C.E.O. Gets 9 Months in Prison in College Admissions Case

Douglas Hodge, the former chief executive of Pimco, center, left the federal courthouse in Boston last year.Credit...Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg

Most parents were accused of crimes to get one child, maybe two, into an elite college. Douglas Hodge, the former chief of Pimco, paid bribes for at least four children, prosecutors say

Feb 7, 2020

By Kate Taylor - NY Times

BOSTON — Most of the parents charged in the nation’s largest college admissions scandal were accused of paying to cheat on admissions exams or bribing coaches to get one child into college, or perhaps two.

But prosecutors say that Douglas Hodge, the retired chief executive of the bond giant Pimco, was in a different class, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to get no fewer than four of his seven children into elite schools and attempting to do so with a fifth child.

On Friday, a federal judge sentenced Mr. Hodge, who pleaded guilty to two counts — money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud — to nine months in prison. It was the heaviest punishment of any parent who has been sentenced in the admissions scandal, though it fell considerably short of the two years that prosecutors had recommended.

“There is no term in the English language that describes your conduct as well as the Yiddish term of chutzpah,” Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton told Mr. Hodge before imposing his sentence. “You need to pay a significant and conspicuous price for unconscionable, egregious criminal conduct in order to deter you and others who can afford it from the blatant misuse of your good fortunes.”

The judge said that were it not for Mr. Hodge’s record of philanthropy and other good works, which his lawyers had sought to lay out in detail, he would have sentenced him to more than a year in prison.

Mr. Hodge’s sentencing comes at a critical moment in the case that has drawn in dozens of parents and coaches and was announced last March.

Twenty parents have pleaded guilty, and now 14 have been sentenced, with punishments for the other parents ranging from no prison time to six months behind bars. Several parents, including the actress Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced to two weeks in prison for paying a consultant to cheat on her daughter’s SAT exam, have already completed their prison sentences.

Another 15 parents, including the actress Lori Loughlin, have pleaded not guilty and appear headed to trial, possibly this year.


Lori Loughlin, the actor, left federal court in August.Credit.