Douglas Hodge, the former CEO of a top investment company, on Friday received the harshest sentence of any of the parents caught up in the college admissions bribery scandal.
Hodge, 62, of Laguna Beach, California, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boston to nine months in prison, and ordered to pay a $750,000 fine and perform 500 hours of community service.
Hodge, former CEO of the Pacific Investment Management Co., paid bribes totaling $850,000 to get four of his children into the University of Southern California and Georgetown University as fake athletic recruits, prosecutors said in court.
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.
He said his children did not participate in his misdeeds.
He at first pleaded not guilty but in October changed his plea to guilty to charges of conspiring to commit fraud and money laundering.
More than 50 people have been charged in the admissions scheme, which involves wealthy and famous parents accused of paying bribes to rig their childrens test scores or to get them admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes.
A total of 20 parents have pleaded guilty, and 14 have now been sentenced including Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman. Another 15 are contesting the charges, including Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli.