40 Charged in College Exam Cheating Plot, Including the Managing Partner of TPG Growth and Former PIMCO CEO

Posted on 03/12/2019


After an FBI investigation code named Operation Varsity Blues resolved, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) uncovered a network of wealthy parents who paid large amounts of money to enhance their childrens’ chances of getting into elite colleges such as Yale University, University of Southern California, and Stanford University. The alleged scam helped potential students cheat on their college exams, according to an unsealed indictment in Boston. The DOJ is charging 49 people so far, which includes 33 parents and 9 college coaches.

According to the indictment, “The Edge College & Career Network, LLC, also known as “The Key,” is a for-profit college counseling and preparation business based in Newport Beach, California that was established in or about 2007 and registered in California in or about 2012. The Key Worldwide Foundation (“KWF”) is a non-profit corporation founded in or about 2012 and based in Newport Beach, California.”

“This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth, combined with fraud,” said U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling.

“There can be no separate college admission for wealthy, and I will add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.”

The parents were charged with: “Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.”

Some of the defendants include:
William E. “Bill” McGlashan, Jr., managing partner of TPG Growth (TPG Capital)
Douglas Hodge, former CEO of Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC (PIMCO)
Manuel A. Henriquez, founder and CEO of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc.
Gamal Abdelaziz, president and CEO of Wynn Resorts Development
John B. Wilson, president and CEO of Hyannis Port Capital
Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Bruce Isackson, president of WP Investments (Woodside Property Investments)
Robert “Bob” Zangrillo, founder, chairman and CEO of Dragon Global
Gregory Abbot, CEO of the International Dispensing Company
Elisabeth M. Kimmel, owner of Midwest Television, Inc
Hollywood actresses: Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman
Mossimo Giannulli, fashion designer
Agustin Francisco Huneeus, owner/partner of Huneeus Vintners

UPDATE (later in the same day)
TPG Capital put William McGlashan Jr. on indefinite administrative leave following the allegations. Jim Coulter, Co-CEO of TPG, will be interim managing partner of TPG Growth and The Rise Fund.