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)

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

Members of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP paid tribute Saturday to Const. Marc Hovingh of the Ontario Provincial Police, who was killed in a shooting Nov. 19, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP honours fallen Ontario police officer

Const. Marc Hovingh was killed in a shooting on Manitoulin Island, Ont. on Nov. 19

The Armstrong Green Space Society is calling for the preservation of the Royal York Golf Course, which may be in jeopardy pending an application to use the land for a major housing development. (File photo)
Armstrong group calls on council to spare local golf course from housing development

The Armstrong Green Space Society was formed in 2019 after word of the development surfaced

Vicki Proulx, executive director of the Vernon Winter Carnival Society, stands beneath a lights display the society lit up in Spirit Square Nov. 27, by way of announcing it will be taking over the 2021 downtown light-up event. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon Winter Carnival Society lights up downtown square

The society announced it will be taking over next year’s downtown light-up event

Parents are urged to be on alert after a potential child abduction attempt took place near Armstrong Elementary School Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (amsas/neden photo)
Possible child abduction attempt at Armstrong Elementary School prompts warning

A letter from the school’s principal urges parents to be on high alert

A former Nanaimo investment advisor is accused of lying under oath to the B.C. Securities Commission. (Black Press file)
Vernon budget opens for public input

Draft financial plan includes 4.47% tax increase for 2021

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP issue warning after woman assaulted while walking in Kelowna

On Saturday, the unknown man ran up and grabbed her in an inappropriate manner before fleeing

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A West Cabs driver is being investigated for an incident which allegedly took place this week. (West Cabs)
West Kelowna cab driver under investigation after altercation over his lack of mask

Passenger alleges cab driver became confrontational when asked about wearing mask

Supt. Brian Hunter will be presenting first quarter RCMP stats to Penticton city council, tomorrow (April 21). (Phil McLachlan - Western News - File)
South Okanagan RCMP superintendent wants to set up dedicated prolific offender task force

Supt. Brian Hunter plans to use the additional officers city council approved for the force

Vees goalkeeper Yaniv Perets stands watch while Tyler Ho takes the puck around the back of the net on Nov. 7. The BCHL press release did not name the player who tested positive.(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees quarantining after player tests positive for COVID-19

The team, staff and billets are isolating while they are tested

(Pixabay)
‘We need to be empathetic’; Kelowna support worker speaks out after disabled individual denied haircut

Individual with severe autism denied service at a Kelowna hair salon for not wearing mask

The Interior Wildfire Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10-15 acres to house a rehab centre for injured and orphaned wildlife like deer and moose calves. (Black Press file photo)
Okanagan group look for property to house wildlife rehab centre

The Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10 acres for injured/orphaned animals

Most Read