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Ex-CEO of PIMCO to plead guilty in admissions scandal

Douglas Hodge
Laguna Beach resident Douglas Hodge is accused of paying a total of $525,000 to have his daughter and son admitted to USC.
(File Photo / Los Angeles Times)

Douglas Hodge, former chief executive of Newport Beach-based investment giant PIMCO, is expected to plead guilty to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering, federal prosecutors in Boston said Thursday.

The expected plea is the latest sign that some of the parents who have so far maintained their innocence in the college admissions scandal may be caving after months of legal wrangling and public scorn.

Hodge, a resident of Laguna Beach, is accused of paying a total of $525,000 to have his daughter and son admitted to USC as phony soccer and football recruits.

Hodge’s forthcoming guilty plea, scheduled for Monday, is significant. He is the first to signal an intention to plead guilty among a group of parents who, after balking at an early deal from prosecutors to plead to a single fraud conspiracy charge, were saddled with an additional charge of money laundering.

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Of the nine parents sentenced in the case so far, all but one — Peter Jan Sartorio of Menlo Park — have received prison terms, ranging from 14 days for actress Felicity Huffman to five months for Napa vintner Agustin Huneeus Jr. They all worked with mastermind William “Rick” Singer in the scheme, prosecutors say.

Sartorio, a packaged-foods entrepreneur, was spared prison last week and ordered instead to serve 250 hours of community service, pay a $9,500 fine and spend a year on probation.

Huffman on Tuesday reported to a federal prison in Northern California, where she will spend two weeks behind bars for conspiring to rig her daughter’s college entrance exams.

Huffman, 56, will serve her sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, a low-security facility in Alameda County that houses about 1,200 female inmates, according to a statement from Huffman’s representative.

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Upon her release, Huffman must perform 250 hours of community service and remain on supervised release for one year.

Michael Ormseth writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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