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Laguna Beach CEO Gets 9 Months In Prison For Paying $850K In Bribes In College Admissions Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — A Laguna Beach man and former CEO of a large investment firm was sentenced Friday to nine months in prison for paying $850,000 in bribes to get two of his children admitted to USC and another two into Georgetown as athletic recruits, all part of the nationwide college admissions scandal.

61-year-old Douglas Hodge, the former CEO of the Pacific Investment Management Company, was sentenced in federal court in Boston to nine months in prison, two years of supervised release and 500 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a $750,000 fine.

Back in October of last year, Hodge plead guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Hodge did not have a plea deal.

Hodge was among 16 parents who had pleaded not guilty at first, but then last April were hit by prosecutors with additional money laundering charges. In that group was also actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, who are still fighting the allegations.

Hodge paid more than $500,000 in bribes to get two of his children into USC. Authorities say he paid $200,000 to get his daughter admitted as a soccer recruit in 2013, and $325,000 to get his son in as a football recruit in 2015. Neither played on those sports teams.

Back in 2008, he paid $150,000 to get his daughter admitted to Georgetown as a tennis recruit. In 2010, he paid another $175,000 to get his son admitted, also as a tennis recruit.

All four cases were facilitated by Newport Beach businessman Rick Singer, the man at the center of the admissions scandal.

Hodge apologized in a statement read in court.

"I have in my heart the deepest remorse for my actions. I understand and accept that what I did was wrong. I know that I unfairly, and ultimately illegally, tipped the scales in favor of my children over others, over the hopes and dreams of other parents, who had the same aspirations for their children as I did for mine," he said.

On March 12, 2019, the FBI charged 50 people — including 33 parents and nine coaches — in a massive bribery scheme in which wealthy families paid millions to Rick Singer to help their children cheat on standardized tests and bribe test administrators and college coaches to help get their kids into top universities like UCLA, USC, Yale, Stanford and Georgetown.

So far 20 parents, including "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman -- who served a 14-day sentence in October -- have pleaded guilty in the scandal and 14 of those have been sentenced. Another 15, including Loughlin and Giannulli, are fighting the charges.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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