College admissions scandal: Mom who paid $400,000 to get son into UCLA is sentenced

Xiaoning Sui, a Canadian resident, was sentenced to time served, about five months, and fined $250,000.

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By Phil Helsel

A Canadian resident who paid $400,000 to get her son into a California university has been sentenced in the college admissions cheating scheme.

Xiaoning Sui, 48, of Surrey, British Columbia, was sentenced to time served, which amounts to about five months and was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for bribing her son's way into UCLA as a soccer recruit, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement Monday.

Sui's son did not play competitive soccer.

Sui, who was arrested Sept. 16, 2019, in Spain, agreed to plead guilty in February to one count of federal programs bribery.

The alleged mastermind of the scheme, which resulted in dozens of parents and others being charged, William “Rick” Singer, told Sui to pay $400,000 to facilitate her son's admission to UCLA as a purported soccer recruit, prosecutors said.

Singer has pleaded guilty in the scheme, and he wore a wire for the FBI in its investigation.

Among the parents convicted were actress Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to have her daughter's SAT scores boosted. She was sentenced to 14 days in prison and released on the 11th day of that sentence.

Hot Pocketsheiress Michelle Janavs was sentenced to five months in prison in February after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering for pledging $300,000 to Singer for help in fraudulently boosting college qualifications of her two daughters. Her sentence start was delayed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

"Full House" actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are fighting the charges against them and have pleaded not guilty.