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Chinese national who lives in Canada and does not speak English is arrested in Spain in college scam

Just days after prosecutors successfully ended their prosecution of the first parent in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal, another has been indicted in the college cheating scam. 

Xiaoning Sui, 48, a Chinese national who lives in British Columbia, is accused of paying $400,000 to gain her son admission to UCLA as a soccer player with the help of Laura Janke.

The former soccer coach at USC was previously charged for helping write fake profiles for the children of defendants including Lori Loughlin. 


Too cool for school: Xiaoning Sui, 48, a Chinese national who lives in British Columbia, is accused of paying $400,000 to gain her son admission to UCLA (above) as a soccer player

Mastermind: She made two payments to William Rick Singer's (above) foundation, one for $100,00 and another for $300,000 said prosecutors

Mastermind: She made two payments to William Rick Singer’s (above) foundation, one for $100,00 and another for $300,000 said prosecutors

The complaint, which was filed on Tuesday and obtained by, reveals that the young man was accepted to UCLA last year, and that his mother paid $100,000 in late 2018 and another $300,000 in February of this year – just weeks before the scandal made headlines around the world. 

Those payments all went to the Key Worldwide Foundation according to the complaint, but the  second was later funneled to a soccer club controlled by Janke and Ali Khosroshahian.

This case does present one major hurdle for federal prosecutors however, because the defendant does not speak English.

The complaint states that her conversations with the scam’s mastermind William Rick Singer and others always took place with a translator on the phone, 

It is unclear if Sui’s son had started at the institution this year, especially since this story was revealed months before the indictment by the Los Angeles Times, though the family was not named in that report.

Sui was arrested in Spain and officials are in the process for getting her extradited to Boston, where she was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in a federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday. 

‘On or about October 24, 2018, Singer had a conference call with SUI, Recruiter 1 and a Chinese translator. In the conference call, Singer explained in English that he needed SUI to wire $100,000 to Singer’s bank account, which would be “paid to the coach at UCLA” in exchange for a letter of intent from the coach recruiting Applicant 1 onto his soccer team,’ states the complaint. 

‘Singer further explained that the $100,000 would be paid to “the UCLA men’s soccer coach directly.” The translator translated what Singer said into Chinese, telling SUI: “Your son is admitted to this  school through UCLA’s soccer team. That $100,000 is directly transferred to that soccer coach. So, although your son is a tennis player, because there is a place in soccer team, so it is the soccer team that takes your son.”‘

The court filing then states: ‘SUI responded, “OK.”‘

Prosecutors are no doubt feeling good after the federal judge overseeing the case sentenced Felicity Huffman to 14 days in prison. 

The actress, 56, addressed the court on Friday just moments before she learned her fate, breaking down in tears as she said: ‘I have inflicted more damage than I could’ve ever imagined.’ 

She then admitted her guilt once more and told the judge her actions were ‘frightened, stupid and so wrong,’ and added that she deserved whatever sentence was handed down. 

That tearful display came almost 30 minutes after the hearing kicked off with the federal prosecutor assigned to the case reprimanding the actions that resulted in Huffman’s indictment and ridiculing her excuses.

Right off the bat, the prosecution commented on Huffman’s claim that it was her ‘parental anxiety’ that lead her to bribe an official in order to guarantee her daughter a better SAT test score.

‘With all due respect to the defendant, welcome to parenthood,’ said Assistant US Attorney Eric Rosen.

‘There’s no instruction manual. Parenthood is exhausting and stressful, but that’s what every parent goes through.’ 

He later noted: ‘Parenthood does not make you a felon or make you cheat. It makes you serve as a positive role model.’   

Prosecutors reiterated their sentencing recommendation to the court on Friday by very plainly stating: ‘The defendant, Felicity Huffman, must go to jail for one month because the only meaningful and sufficient sanction for he criminal activity she engaged in is prison.’ 

Huffman was ordered to self-report to a facility determined by the Bureau of Prisons on October 25 by Judge Indira Talwani, who shared with the court how she arrived at her ruling after hearing from prosecutors, the defense and Huffman.   

‘The outrage in this case is a system that is already so distorted by money and privilege in the first place,’ noted Judge Indira Talwani. 

‘And that in a system in that context, that you took the step of having one more advantage to put your child ahead.’  

Huffman was later seen being comforted by her husband, and left the courthouse around 4pm with tears in her eyes. 


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