The founder of a California venture capital firm jailed six months on Wednesday for paying more than $ 400,000 in a college admissions scheme to boost his daughters’ exam scores and falsely enroll at a university as a tennis recruit. Was sentenced.
Manuel Henriquez, who founded Hercules Capital, said in a letter to the judge that he was embarrassed and admitted that he was “wrong, illegal, inappropriate and hurt, especially to many honest college applicant students and parents.”
Henriquez and his wife, Elizabeth Henriquez, were accused of paying money to raise their scores in their daughters’ SAT examinations and one of the daughters admitted to Georgetown University as a Purpose Tennis recruit , Even though she did not play competitively.
“According to the Associated Press, at a videoconference hearing, Manuel Henriquez said,” There is no precise way to express how broken I am in my heart and soul.
HenriCage pleaded guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and honest services to mail and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
His wife, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced to seven months in prison in March.
Prosecutors acknowledged in court documents that Henriquez was “a less active participant in the mechanics of fraud than his wife.”
Authorities said they were among more than 50 people who were implicated in the scheme run by William “Rick” Singer.
The widespread scandal exposed in the FBI investigation is called “Operation Varsity Blues” involving wealthy parents who falsely raise their children’s test scores or get them admitted to universities as award-winning athletes.
In court documents, Henriquez’s attorneys said he was fully aware that his daughters’ entrance exams were being cheated, but believed the $ 400,000 paid to Singer’s brazenness in Georgetown Tennis programs and underprivileged youth will be done.
Assistant US Attorney Eric Rosen said it “undermines credibility” that Henriquez would believe and accused him of refusing to take full responsibility for his actions and conduct for the court Attempts to present a “sacred version” of.
According to the US Attorney, after the couple’s daughter was admitted to Georgetown, Singer paid the school’s then tennis coach Gordon Ernst.
Ernst was charged and pleaded not guilty after being charged with depositing a sum of $ 2.7 million as a bribe. He left Georgetown before criminal charges were filed and questioned his recruits after an internal school investigation, the university has said.
The singer pleaded guilty and wired to the FBI. Actor Felicity Huffman was indicted, pleaded guilty and served 11 days of a 14-day sentence. Actress Lori Laughlin and her fashion-designer husband Mosimo Giannulli pleaded guilty, but were not sentenced.
In his letter to the judge, Henriquez wrote, “I feel ashamed of my act of putting myself and my family on all the children and parents who played by the rules.” He asked the other parents and their children to forgive him.
He portrays his family as being destroyed by his and his wife’s actions: the lives of their children are uprooted, their mental health is affected and their mother jailed. He said that their marriage is on the verge of breaking up.
Henriquez resigned as President and CEO of Hercules Capital in March 2019 following the announcement of the allegations. He wrote in the letter that the loss of the company was “like losing my third child, and I lost my professional reputation and integrity.”
The Associated Press has contributed.