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Canadian woman arrested in college admissions scandal

By
Danielle Haynes

Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Authorities arrested a Canadian woman in Spain for a U.S. indictment accusing her of paying $400,000 to get her son admitted to the University of California-Los Angeles as part of the so-called Varsity Blues operation.

Xiaoning Sui, 48, of British Columbia, faces one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. U.S. authorities plan to seek her extradition to Boston.

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Sui is the 35th parent to be indicted in the college admissions scandal, which accuses dozens of wealthy parents of bribing colleges or test proctors to help their children get into a number of U.S. colleges and universities. Prosecutors said she paid the scheme's mastermind, Rick Singer, $400,000 to help her son get into UCLA as a soccer recruit, though he didn't play the sport.

Singer allegedly gave Sui's son's high school transcript and photos of him playing soccer to Laura Janke, a former assistant women's soccer coach at UCLA. Singer and Janke allegedly created a fake profile for the teen, saying he played for two private soccer clubs in Canada. They then allegedly sent the information to USC women's soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin, who passed it on to UCLA men's soccer head coach Jorge Salcedo.

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Janke and Khosroshahin each pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme, and Salcedo pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges.

To facilitate the payment for the fake profile, Sui wired $100,000 to the Key World Foundation, a fake charity Singer ran to accept money from parents, authorities allege. She wired another $400,000 after her son's admittance.

The Varsity Blues operation resulted in charges for a number of high-profile parents, including actor Felicity Huffman, actor Lori Loughlin and Loughlin's husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. Huffman received a 14-day prison sentence last week after pleading guilty.

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