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Second B.C. parent facing charges in connection with U.S. college admission scandal

Surrey (September 20, 2019) – The second B.C. parent is facing charges in connection with the U.S. college admission scandal. Xiaoning Sui (48) was arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy in order to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. She is alleged to have paid US$400,000 in exchange for the admission of her son at UCLA as a soccer recruit.

The U.S. college admissions scandal revealed its second suspect from British Columbia. Xiaoning Sui from Surrey, B.C. has been arrested in Spain on September 16 for alleged bribery for having her son admitted to the UCLA in 2018 according to the U.S. Department of Justice. She has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in Boston on September 17.

An indictment claims that the 48-year-old mother has paid US$400,000 to the admissions consultant William (Rick) Singer. Between August and October 2018, it is alleged that Singer told Sui, that her son could ‘guaranteed’ be accepted to the UCLA in exchange for money. Sui is accused of directing the first payment of US$100,000 to a bank account in Massachusetts while sending her son’s transcripts and a picture of him playing tennis to Singer. Thereupon, a co-conspirator, Laura Janke, who pleaded guilty, draw up a soccer profile, describing Sui’s son as a top player of two private Canadian soccer clubs.

On November 5, 2018, UCLA recruited Sui’s son in its soccer team. He was awarded a scholarship of 25 percent. Thereafter, Sui is alleged to have paid the remaining US$3000,000 to the same account. The account was issued to Singer’s sham charitable organization ‘the Key Worldwide Foundation’ (KWF). Singer is the mastermind behind the U.S. college admission scandal. He pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme.

The scandal involves multiple wealthy parents who were using fraudulent methods to get admission into prestigious U.S. colleges and universities for their children. Including Sui, 52 people have been indicted so far in this context. She is the second parent from British Columbia. The first one was David Sidoo (59), former CFL player and businessman from Vancouver. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and pleaded not guilty. He is alleged of paying US$200,000 to somebody in exchange for taking the SATs – a standardized college admission test – on behalf of his two sons.

Prominent parents who have been linked to the scheme are actors such as Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. The latter was sentenced to 14 days in prison on September 13. Altogether, 15 parents have pleaded guilty so far and 19 are fighting the charges.

Sui is still detained in Spain, but U.S. authorities plan to seek her extradition to Boston. The maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud would be 20 years in prison and a fine of US$250,000.

Update (May 19, 2020): A U.S. judge ordered Xiaoning Sui to pay a $250,000 fine for paying $400,000 to secure her son’s admission to the UCLA through bribery as a purported soccer recruit.