Hercules chief Henriquez, ex-Pimco CEO and others are charged in college cheating scheme

Manuel Henriquez of on Wednesday voluntarily stepped aside as chairman and CEO, effective immediately, he participated in a $25 million college admissions cheating scheme to help rich students enter elite colleges.

Hercules said in a statement its board of directors has elected Robert Badavas to be interim chairman and elected Scott Bluestein, the company‘s chief investment officer, as interim CEO. Henriquez will remain as a board member and adviser to the company.

Hercules shares fell more than 9 percent Tuesday.

Henriquez and former CEO Douglas Hodge of investment management giant Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO) were among the slew of business executives charged in the scheme.

Hodge, who served as Pimco CEO from 2014 to 2016, allegedly agreed to use bribery to facilitate the admission of two of his children to the University of Southern California as athletic recruits, and tried enlist the support of a cooperating witness to help a third child get into college too, according to court documents.

Federal prosecutors allege that Hodge paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for his daughters‘ admission into USC. Hodge retired from Pimco in November 2017 after working there for 28 years.

Among other executives charged in the scheme are William McGlashan Jr., a senior executive at TPG Capital; Gordon Caplan, co-chairman of international law firm Willkie Farr; and Agustin Huneeus, head of the Huneeus vineyard in Napa Valley.

Pimco declined requests for comment from CNBC.