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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No charges to be laid against 22 pipeline protesters arrested on Wet’suwet’en territory

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Salvation Army celebrates National Doughnut Day with deliveries to front line COVID workers

National Doughnut Day pays tribute to the “Doughnut Lassies” of the First World War

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

Fibre installation for South Hazelton begins

Citywest says it will install cable in the summer and home installations in the fall

Annual bird count thrills organizer

Count took place over 48 hours

‘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

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

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

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

‘Great Regional Air Hug’ being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

Most Read