Janss Steps at UCLA. (Wikimedia Commons)

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

A Surrey mother has been charged in connection to the U.S. college bribery scandal, marking the second parent from B.C. to be accused of paying money to a university or college in exchange for their child’s admission.

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night, according to the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts.

She is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Sui is currently detained in Spain, and authorities will be seeking her extradition to Boston to face the charge.

According to court documents unsealed in Boston Monday, Sui allegedly paid $400,000 to William “Rock” Singer in 2018, in order to have her son admitted to UCLA as a soccer recruit. Evidence includes phone calls beginning in August 2018 where Singer, a Newport Beach college consultant, allegedly told Sui she would be “guaranteed” admission into the university in exchange for the large sum of money.

Co-conspirator Laura Janke, who already pleaded guilty to her role in the scam, then fabricated a soccer profile for Sui’s son, which described him as a top player for two private soccer clubs in Canada.

Sui wired $100,000 to a Massachusetts bank account in the name of Singer’s sham charitable organization in October 2018, the court documents allege. Shortly after, Su’s son was admitted to the university as a soccer player on a 25 per cent scholarship.

ALSO READ:Accused test-taker pleads guilty in college bribery scandal involving B.C. businessman

Sui allegedly wired another $300,000 to the same account in January 2019. If convicted, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.

Sui is the 52nd person to be indicted for allegedly using bribery or other forms of fraud, including celebrities like Lori Laughlin, who pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial, as well as Felicity Huffman who was sentenced last week to 14 days behind bars and a $30,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Singer pleaded guilty in March to helping bribe university sports coaches to present clients’ children as fake athletic recruits. His sentencing is set for later this month.

Jorge Salcedo, the UCLA men’s soccer coach, who has also been charged with racketeering conspiracy in connection to the scheme, pleaded not guilty.

The only other B.C. defendant in the case so far, former CFL player David Sidoo, pleaded not guilty after being charged in March with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. It’s alleged he paid $200,000 in total for someone to take an entrance exam on behalf of both his sons, and that he also paid an undisclosed amount for someone to fly to Vancouver and take a high school test.

READ MORE: B.C. businessman David Sidoo pleads not guilty in U.S. college bribery case


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

West Shore woman’s dog found in Colwood more than two weeks after going missing

Isla went missing on March 10 and was found 17 days later

Saanich police ticket two speeders before 9 a.m., Saturday

Officers still actively enforcing road safety amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Painted fence in Langford shows thanks for essential workers amid COVID-19

Community members finding unique ways to show their appreciation

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Antibody tests could be the next step in fighting COVID-19, Island doctor says

The blood test could show if a person is recovering or has recovered from the virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read