Surrey resident sentenced in U.S. college admissions bribery scandal

Surrey resident Xiaoning Sui was sentenced to five months in jail by a U.S. District Court judge in Boston, Massachusetts on Monday, for her part in the U.S. college admissions bribery scandal.

Sui, a Chinese citizen, paid a bribe to have her son accepted into UCLA on a soccer scholarship, even though he didn’t play competitively.

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The U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement Monday on Sui’s sentencing, which sees her released after time served before her guilty plea of one count of federal programs bribery. Sui paid a fine of $250,000 and agreed to forfeit the $400,000 she paid to facilitate the crime. Sui was arrested in Spain on Sept. 16, 2019, and detained until she was extradited to Boston for the plea hearing.

According to the USDOJ statement, during a phone call in August 2018, William ‘Rick’ Singer explained to Sui that he would write Sui’s son application in a “special way” that would guarantee his admission to UCLA, in exchange for $400,000.

Then, on Oct. 24, 2018, “Singer instructed Sui to wire Singer $100,000 which he told her would be ‘paid to the coach at UCLA’ in exchange for a letter of intent from the coach recruiting Sui’s son onto the soccer team. Two days later, Sui wired the $100,000 to a bank account in Massachusetts in the name of Singer’s sham charitable organization, Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF). The head coach of men’s soccer at UCLA subsequently designated Sui’s son as a recruited soccer player, which also resulted in his receipt of a scholarship.”

Meanwhile, Vancouver businessman David Sidoo, the other B.C. resident and only Canadian named in the FBI investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, is scheduled to be sentenced July 15 after agreeing to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Sidoo has agreed to a sentence of 90 days in jail, plus a $250,000 fine.

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