Salcedo accepted $100K to admit prospective student allegedly from British Columbia
Former UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo was the recipient of a $100,000 bribe from Rick Singer, in exchange for a prospective student from British Columbia to be admitted as a soccer recruit. Salcedo pled not guilty to racketeering charges March 25. (Liz Ketcham/Photo editor)
By Sam Connon
Aug. 19, 2019 12:36 p.m.
Five months later, Rick Singer’s shadow still looms large over Westwood.
Court documents unsealed March 12 stated Singer – the driving force behind the Varsity Blues athletics admission scandal – paid then-UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo $100,000 to get a prospective student admitted to UCLA.
Salcedo was charged in an indictment with racketeering conspiracy March 12 after arranging admission for multiple students who did not play competitive soccer. The unnamed male student would have received an athletic scholarship that accounted for a quarter of his tuition, a source familiar with the case told the Los Angeles Times.
The documents did not originally name the student or his parents, but sources close to the situation identified his mother as Xiaoning Sui, the LA Times reported Monday. Sui allegedly agreed to pay Singer $400,000 for help in getting her son admitted to UCLA, making a deposit of an unknown amount toward the total sum in October 2018.
Sui’s son was granted provisional admission in October but was never officially accepted or enrolled at UCLA, according to UCLA Athletics.
Sui is from the Vancouver, Canada, area and has had no charges pressed against her as of Monday. Legal experts told the LA Times that jurisdiction issues surrounding the scandal led to American parents being charged and prosecuted before the international parties named in the indictment.
Henry Hockeimer Jr., a lawyer for Ballard Spahr LLP, said prosecutors must have the Justice Department sign off on any international extradition. For Canadian officials to agree to the extradition and potential arrest of a Canadian citizen, the crime committed must also be a crime in Canada.
It is unclear whether Sui was aware a portion of her payment would be forwarded to Salcedo, who resigned in March following revelations of his alleged involvement in the scandal. Singer sent Salcedo the $100,000 check in October in exchange for Sui’s son being designated as a soccer recruit.
UCLA and the University of California Office of the President are both in the midst of internal reviews of their application policies, UCLA spokesperson Tod Tamberg said.
Overall, 34 parents have been charged in the case consisting of 51 total defendants. Fifteen parents have pled guilty – including Davina and Bruce Isackson, who paid Singer to help admit their daughter into UCLA as a women’s soccer player in 2017. Davina and Bruce Isackson are scheduled to appear in court for their sentencing hearing Nov. 8.
Salcedo, however, pled not guilty to racketeering charges March 25. He is scheduled to appear in court again Oct. 1 for a status conference, but he is not required to attend.
Only one additional person – Jeffrey Bizzack – has been charged as a part of the case since the documents were unsealed. Bizzack reached an agreement with prosecutors that he would plead guilty before his charge of fraud conspiracy was made public in June.