Janss Steps at UCLA. (Wikimedia Commons)

Janss Steps at UCLA. (Wikimedia Commons)

Surrey mom has plea deal in U.S. college admissions scandal

The Justice Department says the agreement is the result of discussions with Xiaoning Sui’s lawyers

A court document says a woman from Surrey would plead guilty to a single bribery charge under a proposed plea agreement in the college admissions scandal that has implicated dozens of wealthy parents in the United States.

The document filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on Jan. 23 also indicates that under the proposed agreement, Xiaoning Sui would not spend any extra time in jail.

The document filed in Massachusetts says, Sui would agree to incarceration for a period of time served, 12 months of supervised release and a fine and restitution in amounts to be determined by the court.

The Justice Department says the agreement is the result of discussions with Sui’s lawyers and it has yet to be signed because she remains detained in Spain, where she was arrested in September.

It says a judge must still approve the deal at a plea hearing in the United States District Court for Massachusetts that will take place once Sui is extradited from Spain.

If the agreement is rejected by the court, it says the U.S. Attorney “may deem the plea agreement null and void.” It also says the defendant understands that she may not withdraw her guilty plea unless the court rejects the agreement.

Sui was initially charged with a single count of conspiracy and fraud in an indictment that alleges Sui arranged with an admissions consultant to pay US$400,000 to facilitate her son’s admission to the University of California Los Angeles as a soccer recruit even though he did not play the sport competitively.

READ MORE: Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son’s UCLA admission in U.S. college bribery scandal

She was then charged in a superseding indictment with an expanded conspiracy charge, two counts of money laundering and three counts of wire fraud and honest services wire fraud.

Sui was the second person from B.C. to be charged in what has become known in the U.S. as the college admissions scandal.

In April, Vancouver businessman David Sidoo pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering in a separate case.

Sidoo’s lawyer, Richard Schoenfeld, said at the time the plea was entered in writing after an indictment from the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts accused him of wiring about $100,000 in January 2013 from an account in Canada to an account in California.

The indictment alleges the money was in the name of college-prep company The Key, and meant to be in exchange for admissions consultant’s facilitation of an alleged SAT cheating scheme for Sidoo’s younger son.

Sidoo, a former Canadian Football League player and well-known philanthropist, had already pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

READ MORE: Surrey mom facing more charges in U.S. college bribery scandal

An indictment in March alleged Sidoo paid $200,000 in total for someone to take the SAT on behalf of both his sons, and that he also paid an undisclosed amount for someone to fly to Vancouver and take a high school graduation exam on behalf of his older son.

Of the dozens charged, 23 have pleaded guilty, including “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman, who paid $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT score. She was released from prison in October two days before the end of a two-week sentence

Others are contesting the charges against them, including “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as crew recruits, even though neither of them is a rower.

— with files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

college bribery scheme

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man convicted of assault, unlawfully confining woman pregnant with his child loses court appeal

Victim tells court he drove her to Guildford parking lot after he’d ‘grabbed’ her neck and she fainted

Peter and Stephanie Chung. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey philanthropists presenting $285K in scholarships on Saturday

Drs. Peter and Stephanie Chung over the past nine years have awarded more than 500 students, in memory of their son Joseph

North Surrey Minor Football players in action. The club is among Surrey-area recipients of the B.C. government’s Local Sport Relief Fund. (File photo)
COVID ‘relief’ funding for some sports groups in Surrey, White Rock, Delta

‘Without financial support, these clubs are at risk of closure,’ says B.C. government

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

Most Read