Xiaoning Sui, center, a Chinese national residing in British Columbia, Canada, leaves federal court, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Boston, after pleading guilty to paying $400,000 to get her son into the University of California, Los Angeles, as a fake soccer recruit. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

B.C. mom gets time served for $400K college admissions bribe

More than 50 parents, coaches and others have been charged in the admissions cheating scheme

A woman from British Columbia who was locked up for five months in a Spanish prison after her arrest in a college admissions bribery scheme won’t spend any more time behind bars, a judge ruled Monday.

Xiaoning Sui, 49, of Surrey, was sentenced to time served after admitting to paying $400,000 to get her son into the University of California, Los Angeles, as a fake soccer recruit. During a sentencing hearing held via video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic, the judge said Sui has already been punished enough.

“I set a horrible example for my child and I was a bad influence. I promise that I will never do anything like that again,” Sui told the judge through an interpreter.

READ MORE: Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son’s UCLA admission in U.S. college bribery scandal

Sui, a Chinese citizen who moved to Canada in search of better educational opportunities for her son, was arrested in September while travelling in Europe. While awaiting extradition to the U.S., Sui was held in a Madrid prison, where she was locked in her cell for 15 hours per day in conditions far worse than what other parents in the college admissions case have experienced in U.S. prisons, her lawyer said.

“It was a very isolating and anxiety-creating experience,” attorney Martin Weinberg told the judge.

READ MORE: Surrey mom has plea deal in U.S. college admissions scandal

Prosecutors had also urged the judge for a sentence of time served, noting that Sui immediately sought to take responsibility for her crimes, among other things.

Prosecutors say Sui paid $400,000 to a sham charity operated by admissions consultant Rick Singer to have her son admitted to UCLA as a fake soccer recruit. Through a translator, Singer told Sui that he would write her son’s application in a “special way” in order to guarantee that her son could get into the school, according to court documents.

Singer worked with Laura Janke, a former assistant soccer coach at USC, to fabricate an athletic profile depicting Sui’s son as a top soccer player, prosecutors said. Singer gave $100,000 to then-UCLA soccer coach Jorge Salcedo in exchange for his help with the scheme.

Both Singer and Janke have pleaded guilty. Salcedo has agreed to plead guilty but his hearing hasn’t yet been held.

Sui’s son was admitted to UCLA as a soccer player in November 2018, authorities say, and was awarded a 25% scholarship. In September, UCLA said it had taken “immediate corrective action” after learning of the case.

More than 50 parents, coaches and others have been charged in the admissions cheating scheme involving prestigious universities across the country. Sui is among nearly two dozen parents who have pleaded guilty. Others include “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to rig her daughter’s entrance exam and a former Canadian Football League player.

Vancouver businessman David Sidoo pleaded guilty in March to a mail fraud conspiracy charge in Boston federal court. A plea deal calls for Sidooo to serve 90 days in prison and pay a $250,000 fine, which must be approved by the judge. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

Prosecutors said Sidoo paid the admissions consultant at the centre of the scheme $200,000 to have someone pose as his sons using a fake ID to secure higher scores on their SATs. Sidoo, who is known for his philanthropic causes in British Columbia, played professional football for six years for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions.

A group of parents fighting the charges includes “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli. They are denying allegations that they paid $500,000 in bribes to get their two daughters into USC as fake crew recruits.

Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

MLA says no COVID-19 cases here in seven weeks, clash between B.C. and Alberta exaggerated

Clovechok said cars were keyed, but he believes the incidents were isolated.

Métis communities make do with minimal financial aid from Trudeau; CBT offers support

Métis citizens in valley forged ahead thanks to support from local leadership and community groups

Pharmasave reports positive community support

Daily operations at the local Pharmasave have been modified

Badgers, bears and birds to benefit from bolstering bunchgrass conservation in Rocky Mountain Trench

260 hectares (637 acres) near Canal Flats acquired for conservation

Furor erupts over CastleRock mountain bike trails

A petition has garnered 1,700 signatures so far and seeks to have the CastleRock trails legitimized.

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read