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Parent sentenced to pay $250,000 fine after attempt to bribe son’s way into UCLA

Xiaoning Sui was fined $250,000 for paying for her son’s admission to UCLA. Sui, who was also sentenced to time served, is one of the dozens of individuals implicated in the 2019 college admissions scandal. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Bernard Mendez and Sameera Pant

May 19, 2020 5:16 am

This post was updated May 19 at 9:30 a.m.

A woman who paid for her son’s admission to UCLA was sentenced for bribery Monday.

Xiaoning Sui was fined $250,000 by a U.S. District Court judge in a videoconference hearing for paying $400,000 to secure her son’s admission to UCLA as a soccer recruit, although her son did not play the sport competitively. Sui was also sentenced to time served for the five months she spent in prison after being arrested in Spain in September. 

Sui is one of dozens of individuals implicated in the 2019 college admissions scandal, a nationwide bribery scheme that enabled the admission of students to elite universities through cheating on entrance exams and false athletic recruitment.

Sui, a Chinese national who resides in Canada, pled guilty to bribery in February. She was detained by Spanish authorities in September and was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud at the time of her arrest. The February plea agreement was meant to spare her from further time after her detainment in Spain.

While Douglas P. Woodlock, the district judge presiding over the case, accepted the plea at the time of sentencing, he said Sui should face the highest fine possible, according to Reuters

Sui paid William Singer, known as the ringleader of the admissions scandal, to have her son accepted into UCLA. 

Singer, who pled guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy and money laundering in March 2019, instructed Sui to pay $100,000 to his fake charitable organization, the Key Worldwide Foundation, in October 2018. Singer then connected Sui’s son to Jorge Salcedo, the former UCLA men’s soccer coach, who designated him as a recruit.

Sui’s son later received a 25% athletic scholarship to UCLA. According to UCLA Athletics, the student received a provisional admission and was never officially accepted or enrolled at UCLA.

Salcedo, who resigned following his involvement in the scandal, pled guilty to conspiring to commit racketeering in April.  

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Bernard Mendez
Pant is the assistant News editor for Science and Health. She was previously a News contributor. Pant is a second-year economics student who enjoys writing about sustainability and public health.
Pant is the assistant News editor for Science and Health. She was previously a News contributor. Pant is a second-year economics student who enjoys writing about sustainability and public health.
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