A Chinese woman who allegedly paid $400,000 in bribes to ensure her son was admitted to UCLA as a fake soccer player was arrested in Spain on Monday night and charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to the LA Times.
Chinese national and British Columbia resident Xiaoning Sui was taken into custody by Spanish authorities Monday night, according to the US attorney’s office in Massachusetts – which has sought Sui’s extradition to Boston to face charges.
To guarantee her son a spot at UCLA, prosecutors say Sui turned to William “Rick” Singer, the Newport Beach college admissions consultant who earlier this year admitted to overseeing a sprawling, decade-long scheme that defrauded some of the country’s most selective universities with rigged college entrance exams, fake recruiting profiles and six-figure bribes to college coaches and administrators.
Sui, 48, paid Singer $400,000 to have her son admitted to UCLA as a recruited soccer player, despite that the boy had not played the sport competitively, according to an indictment returned by a grand jury in March. The indictment was sealed until Sui’s arrest. The Times reported Sui’s alleged deal with Singer last month. –LA Times
Sui’s alleged deal with Singer began in August 2018 during a conversation with a college tennis recruiter from Sarasota, Florida in which she wanted to know how much it would cost to guarantee her son’s admission to various universities “through bribery.” The recruiter – believed to be Scott Treibly – isn’t named in the indictment and hasn’t been charged in the case.
Singer, Treibly, Sui and a Chinese translator had a conference call in August 2018, the indictment says, in which Singer told Sui he would need to write her son’s application “in a special way” to guarantee his admission to UCLA. Federal agents had by then been recording Singer’s phone calls for months.
Singer – who has pleaded guilty to four felonies and is awaiting sentencing – told Sui to deposit $400,000 into an escrow account which would hold the money until her son was admitted to UCLA according to the indictment, and that her son wouldn’t “know anything is happening.”
Through a translator, Singer told Sui to wire him $100,000 on October 24, 2018, which would then be “paid to the coach at UCLA” in exchange for a letter of intent from the men’s soccer coach, prosecutors said.
Two days later, Sui allegedly wired that $100,000 to a bank account connected to Key Worldwide Foundation, Singer’s sham charity. In addition, Singer mailed a $100,000 check to Jorge Salcedo, the former UCLA men’s soccer coach.
Sui’s son was approved for admission as a recruited soccer player in November and was even awarded a 25% scholarship. In February, Sui wired $300,000 to Singer’s sham charity to complete the deal, the indictment states. –CNN
Two weeks after the August 2018 conference call, Sui allegedly sent pictures of her son playing tennis to Treibly, who then forwarded them to Singer, who then sent them to former USC assistant soccer coach Laura Janke – telling her “This young man will be a soccer player from Vancouver for UCLA.”
Janke, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering – and admitted to her involvement in creating fake profiles for the Children whose parents Singer took money from. According to the indictment, she created this type of fake profile for Sui’s son, which included pictures of a different person’s action shots and fake achievements describing the boy as “a top player for two private soccer clubs in Canada.”
Sui is the 35th parent arrested in the admissions scandal – while one of them, actress Felicity Huffman, was sentenced to 14 days in prison last week.