A Chinese mother from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada was arrested for bribery to get her son into the University of California, Los Angeles as a fake soccer player.
According to the indictment unsealed by the federal court in Boston on Tuesday, 48-year-old mother Xiaoning Sui was arrested in Spain and has been charged with “one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.”
Prosecutors said Sui paid $400,000 to admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer to get her son admitted into the school. The mother also provided her son’s transcript as well as pictures of him playing tennis between August and October 2018.
Laura Janke, a former assistant coach at University of Southern California, helped fabricate the athletic profile of Sui’s son as a top player for two private soccer clubs in Canada.
Sui’s son was then admitted to UCLA as a soccer player and received a 25% scholarship in November 2018.
The mother paid through Singer’s sham charitable organization called Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF).
Sui’s case was outlined during an indictment in March against former UCLA soccer coach Jorge Salcedo, but the mother was not identified by her name, KTLA5 reported.
In the document, Salcedo reportedly accepted $200,000 to help Singer’s clients to get their children admitted as soccer recruits into the school, including one of his clients in October 2018.
In a statement after the release of the March indictment, UCLA said it took “immediate corrective action,” adding the privacy laws are preventing the school from discussing specific cases, but officials are “not aware of any currently enrolled student-athletes who are under suspicion” by the justice department.
Those who are charged and found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud can face 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.”
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