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Henriquez, Hodge to Plead Guilty in College Bribery Case

Court records show that the two former asset management executives will appear before a judge on Monday.

Two financiers charged in the college admissions bribery scandal have decided to plead guilty, court records show.  

Douglas Hodge, the former chief executive officer of PIMCO, and Manuel Henriquez, founder and former CEO of Hercules Capital, will appear at hearings Monday in the U.S. District Court in Boston, Massachusetts, where they intend to plead guilty. 

Their decisions to plead guilty come seven months after the two were initially charged alongside several others. Henriquez and Hodge were among several parents accused of paying bribes to facilitate their children’s admission to schools like Yale University and Stanford University. Just over two weeks ago, fellow defendant Gordon Caplan, a former partner in Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s private equity practice, was sentenced to one month in federal prison for his role in the scandal.  

Ropes & Gray attorney Brien O’Connor, who represents Hodge, declined to comment when reached by phone on Friday. Henriquez’s lead attorney, Melinda Haag of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, did not immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment.  

According to the initial complaint, Hodge allegedly made payments to a purported charity which funneled the payments to athletic coaches and administrators, who then designated his children as athletic recruits. 

The initial complaint shows that his children allegedly claimed to play sports at a high level in their college applications, despite having never done so. The coaches of those teams allegedly pushed for his children’s acceptance to the schools, according to the complaint.  

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Meanwhile, Henriquez and his wife Elizabeth allegedly made payments for a proctor to sit with their daughters during standardized tests like the SAT and provide them with correct answers.  

Henriquez and his wife also allegedly engaged in a similar scheme to the one Hodge did, where, to get their eldest daughter into Georgetown University, they conspired to bribe the school’s tennis coach, the initial complaint shows.  

After Henriquez was charged, Hercules announced that he had stepped down as chairman and chief executive officer of the firm. He initially held onto his board seat, but the firm’s CEO, Scott Bluestein, told Institutional Investor that the firm no longer has ties to him. 

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