Ex-Pimco Chief Hodge Says Prosecutors Cheated in College Scandal
One of the most prominent parents sentenced to prison in the college admission scandal says new evidence shows the real cheaters were the prosecutors.
Former Pimco chief Douglas Hodge asked for another delay in surrendering to federal prison to begin serving his sentence and says he plans to ask a judge to reduce his nine-month term because recent government disclosures show prosecutors lied and suppressed evidence that could have helped clear him.
Hodge asked that he be allowed to report to prison on June 30, rather than as scheduled on May 4, to give him time to collect more information and avoid jail amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is simply no reason to subject Mr. Hodge, in just under two weeks, to the potentially life-threatening conditions of a federal prison,” his lawyers said in a court filing Thursday.
Hodge got one of the stiffest sentences for a parent in the national case. He was originally scheduled to report to prison on March 20, but won a delay to May 4. He said prosecutors oppose his pending request to have his sentence reduced, but don’t object to another extension to his surrender date.
The 62-year-old former executive says that just weeks after he was sentenced, prosecutors disclosed that Rick Singer, the mastermind of the college admission scam, made notes in 2018 in which he said he felt pressured by investigators “to tell a fib” during secretly recorded phone calls with the parents.
Hodge said he will ask the court to cut his sentence and review the government’s conduct, including whether or not prosecutors suppressed material and evidence that could have proven his innocence. Other parents, including actress Lori Loughlin, have also targeted the Singer recordings in their requests for the charges against them to be dropped.
Hodge, who once safeguarded the retirement savings of millions of Americans, pleaded guilty to paying $850,000 in bribes to get four of his children into the University of Southern California and Georgetown University as phony soccer and tennis team recruits.
Hodge also argued that his age places him in a group of individuals at risk if he should contract the virus. In a motion to U.S. Judge Nathaniel Gorton, Hodge’s lawyers argued that he could also begin serving his term at home.
“Mr. Hodge continues to feel deep remorse for his actions, accepts responsibility for his conduct, and wants to begin to serve his sentence,” his lawyers wrote. “He asks this court to allow him to do so safely and without undue delay.”
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