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Operation Varsity Blues: 52nd person charged in college admissions scandal

William Singer.
Operation Varsity Blues ringleader William Singer. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

U.S. prosecutors charged Chinese national Xiaoning Sui on Monday for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest-services mail fraud, alleging that she paid $400,000 to enroll her son at UCLA as a fake soccer player, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Sui is the 52nd person and the 35th parent to face criminal prosecution in what authorities have called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Justice Department.

Details: Prosecutors allege that Sui worked with high school tennis recruiter Scott Treibly and ringleader William Singer in 2018 to bribe UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo to recruit her son and receive a partial academic scholarship.

  • Prosecutors say that Sui transferred $400,000 to Singer for his services. Of that, $100,000 went to Salcedo.
  • Sui faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release and a fine of at least $250,000. Treibly does not currently face charges.

What they're saying: A UCLA spokesperson told WSJ that the university took "immediate corrective action" after the case was first disclosed in March, but can’t discuss individual students due to privacy laws.

Go deeper ... Timeline: The major developments in the college admissions scandal