A woman accused of paying $400,000 to get her son into the University of California, Los Angeles, as a fake soccer recruit has become the 52nd person charged in a sweeping college admissions bribery scheme, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday. Xiaoning Sui, 48, of Surrey, British Columbia, was charged with a single count of conspiracy and fraud in the indictment unsealed in Boston's federal court. Authorities say she was arrested in Spain on Monday night and was being held there while authorities seek to extradite her to the United States, the AP reports. Sui is the first person to be charged since June, and the bribe she is accused of paying to the sham charity operated by admissions consultant William "Rick" Singer ranks among the highest in the scheme.
Singer worked with Laura Janke, a former assistant soccer coach at USC, to fabricate an athletic profile depicting Sui's son as a top player on two private soccer clubs in Canada, prosecutors said. Both Singer and Janke have pleaded guilty. Sui's son was admitted to UCLA as a soccer player in November 2018, authorities say, and was awarded a 25% scholarship. The case was outlined in a March indictment against former UCLA soccer coach Jorge Salcedo that didn't identify Sui by name but said Salcedo, who pleaded not guilty, accepted $200,000 to help two of Singer's clients. UCLA says it took "immediate corrective action" after the March indictment was released. The school said privacy laws prevent it from discussing specific cases, but officials are "not aware of any currently enrolled student-athletes who are under suspicion" by the Justice Department.
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