Douglas Hodge, the former Pimco chief who once safeguarded the retirement savings of millions of Americans, was sentenced to nine months in prison for paying $850,000 in bribes to get four of his children into USC and Georgetown as phony soccer and tennis team recruits.
The sentence, pronounced Friday in federal court in Boston, is the longest yet for a parent in the biggest college admissions scandal the U.S. has ever prosecuted. Hodge is the 14th parent to be sentenced.
“As a parent, I have counseled my children to listen to that inner voice that tells them right from wrong,” Hodge said in court. “Well, I did not listen to mine.”
The government had asked for a two-year term, saying Hodge, 62, was among the “most culpable” of parents prosecuted, even as he sought leniency, comparing his crimes to those of a parent in the case sentenced to six months behind bars, which had been the longest term.
“Your conduct in this whole sordid affair is appalling and mind-boggling all at the same time,” U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said. Hodge harmed not only the University of Southern California and Georgetown University but “the entire system of education in this country,” Gorton said.