A woman from Surrey, BC was arrested in Spain on Monday in connection with her role to the US College Admissions scandal.
According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), 48-year-old Xiaoning Sui, allegedly paid a bribe in order for her son to be accepted into a prominent US college.
Sui was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
She is currently detained in Spain and US authorities are seeking her extradition to Boston to face the charges.
Sui allegedly made a deal with William “Rick” Singer — a college consultant at the centre of organizing the fake admissions — to pay $400,000 in order to get her son admitted into UCLA as a soccer recruit.
During a phone call in August 2018, Singer allegedly told Sui that her son could be “guaranteed” admission into the prominent California college, in exchange for $400,000.
Between August and October 2018, Sui allegedly sent Singer her son’s transcript and photos of him playing tennis. A co-conspirator named Laura Janke then created a fake soccer profile for Sui’s son, describing him as a top player for two private soccer clubs in Canada.
On October 24, 2018, Singer told Sui to wire him $100,000. He said the money would be “paid to the coach at UCLA” and in return, Sui’s son would receive a letter of intent from the UCLA soccer coach.
Two days later, Sui allegedly complied and wired $100,000 to a bank account in Massachusetts, which was in the name of Singer’s “sham” charity, Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF).
Sui’s son was admitted to UCLA on November 5, 2018, as a recruited soccer player and he received a 25% scholarship.
In February 2018, Sui allegedly wired the remaining $300,000 to the KWF account.
According to the DOJ, the charges Sui is facing “provides for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.”
Prominent Vancouver businessman and philanthropist David Sidoo has also been accused of his involvement in the US college admission scandal.
Sidoo allegedly paid someone $100,000 to take the SAT test for his older son and another $100,000 to have someone take the SAT for his younger son. In March, he pleaded not guilty in a Boston court.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said that dozens of individuals — including Hollywood actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin — were involved in a nationwide conspiracy “that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits.”
Earlier this month, Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for paying an admissions consultant USD $15,000 to have an invigilator correct her oldest daughter’s SAT answers.
Huffman must also serve one year of supervised release and pay a fine of US$30,000.
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