Mom in college admissions scheme gets time served after 'harsh, isolating' jail conditions

Woman kept in Spain jail cell up to 15 hours every day, endured 'far more punitive' conditions than other parents, attorneys say

A Chinese national who pleaded guilty to paying $400,000 to get her son admitted to the University of California, Los Angeles was sentenced to time served for her involvement in the sweeping college admissions scandal, dubbed "Varsity Blues."

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Xiaoning Sui, 48, who lives in Canada, was arrested in September 2019 in Spain, where she was detained and ultimately extradited to Boston. She was sentenced on Monday to time served after spending five months behind bars, the Justice Department announced.

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"I set a horrible example for my child and I was a bad influence. I promise that I will never do anything like that again," Sui said through an interpreter during her videoconference sentencing, according to the New York Post.

Xiaoning Sui leaves federal court on Feb. 21, 2020, in Boston, after pleading guilty to paying $400,000 to get her son into the University of California, Los Angeles, as a fake soccer recruit. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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Sui's attorneys described how while she was detained in Madrid, she was kept inside her jail cell up to 15 hours every day and endured "harsh, isolating, and far more punitive," conditions than the other parents involved in the scandal, according to the report.

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She was accused of paying the fortune to get her son into UCLA as a soccer recruit even though he didn't actually play competitively. Her son also received a scholarship after being recruited by the soccer team, officials said.

Sui pleaded guilty in February to a single count of federal programs bribery. In addition to time served, she has been ordered to pay $250,000 and forfeit the money she paid for the scheme.

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