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TPG exec, former PIMCO CEO among those charged in alleged college bribery scheme

A number of business executives are among dozens of individuals charged in an alleged bribery scheme to secure the admission of students to top universities across the U.S.

The scheme involved bribing SAT and ACT college entrance exam administrators to allow someone to take the test in place of a student or correct the student's answers after they took the test. It also involved bribing administrators and athletic coaches to facilitate the admission of students to elite universities such as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and the University of Texas.

The conspiracy also involved using a purported charitable organization, the Key Worldwide Foundation, to conceal the source and nature of the bribes. The charity group is led by Edge College & Career Network LLC owner and operator William Singer, who was charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstruction of justice. The conspiracy between Singer and those charged allegedly took place between about 2011 and February 2019.

Among those charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud related to the scheme are William McGlashan Jr., founder and managing partner at TPG Capital Management LP's growth equity and smaller buyout investment arm, TPG Growth; former Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC CEO Douglas Hodge; and Gordon Caplan, co-chairman at international law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Also charged are Manuel Henriquez, founder and CEO of venture lending firm Hercules Capital Inc., and his wife; Robert Zangrillo, founder and CEO of venture capital and real estate investment firm Dragon Global; Aquatecture founder and CEO Devin Sloane; founder and chairman of International Dispensing Corp. Gregory Abbott and his wife; Crown Realty & Development Inc. co-founder, CEO and president Robert Flaxman; Huneeus Vintners LLC owner Agustin Huneeus Jr.; Trendera LLC President Jane Buckingham; Winston Retail Solutions LLC co-founder and Executive Vice President Diane Blake and her husband; WP Investments President Bruce Isackson and his wife; Midwest Television Inc.'s Elisabeth Kimmel; Cydcor LLC Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Stephen Semprevivo; and Hyannis Port Capital founder and CEO and former COO of The Gap Inc. John Wilson.

A number of other individuals, including actors, were also charged.