Out On $500K Bail, an Ex-Fundster Faces College Admission Fraud Charges
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Out On $500K Bail, an Ex-Fundster Faces College Admission Fraud Charges

A retired fundster who once led a multinational asset management titan is out on bail and facing fraud charges over his alleged involvement in what the FBI is framing as a massive scheme by a host of wealthy parents "to use bribery and other forms of fraud" to get their kids into elite colleges across the country.

Douglas Michael Hodge
Sway Ventures
Venture Partner
Yesterday morning Douglas Hodge, the retired former CEO of Pimco and more recently venture partner at Sway Ventures, self-reported to federal court in Boston. Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ordered Hodge released (reportedly over prosecutorial objections about Hodge's wealth making him a flight risk) on $500,000 bail, which Hodge is required to deposit in cash with the court by next Wednesday, March 20. Boston-based Miranda Hooker of Pepper Hamilton is representing Hodge, while Boston-based Eric Rosen, an assistant U.S. attorney, is leading the prosecution.

Hodge did not immediately return a call for comment.

In a 204-page affidavit, FBI special agent Laura Smith (who investigates economic crimes) describes the alleged conspiracy and lays out the government's case against 32 people, including Hodge. Hodge has been charged with one count of "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud." (See the complaint, cover sheet, and the four-part affidavit: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.)

More specifically, Hodge, who lives in Laguna Beach, California, stands accused of: paying $150,000 to bribe USC soccer coaches to get his younger daughter accepted to the school as a soccer recruit, via a falsified athletic profile (though the daughter allegedly never joined the USC soccer team); and of paying $325,000 to get his son into USC via falsified athletic profiles exaggerating the son's football and tennis records (though the son allegedly never joined the USC football team).

The affidavit details some of Hodge's alleged conversations with the cooperating witness at the center of the alleged conspiracy: William Singer, owner of the Edge College & Career Network and CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, through which Singer allegedly funneled money from Hodge and the other accused parents. Other parents charged in the probe include: actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin; Bill McGlashan, a top executive with private equity giant TPG; and many more.

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