US College Admissions Scandal: Father Behind $1.2 Million Bribery Case is Wanted in China

By Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.
May 24, 2019 Updated: May 24, 2019

The father of the Chinese Yale student, who paid $1.2 million in bribes to get his daughter into the Ivy League school, has been identified.

Guo Hulin is a rich businessman from Inner Mongolia. He is wanted by Chinese authorities, along with his brother, on corruption charges. Guo resides in an upscale neighborhood in California, but he could now be living in the United States illegally as his visa recently expired.

A Yale Student

After the U.S. college admissions scandal was revealed to the public, the bribery cases mentioned in the court document of college consultant William “Rick” Singer—the central figure in the scandal—were the main focus.

On April 26, Wall Street Journal first reported that one of the students whom Singer facilitated to enter Yale is Sherry Guo Jiaxin, a Chinese national.

The court document alleged that Singer received $1.2 million from Sherry’s family, and teamed up with the head coach of the Yale women’s soccer team. They then sent Sherry to Yale in January 2018 as a recruit for the soccer team, despite the fact the coach knew that Sherry did not play competitive soccer.

When the scandal broke, Sherry dropped out of Yale.

Sherry and her family moved to southern California from China in 2014, and attended JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano.

Wanted by Chinese Authorities

U.S.-Chinese newspaper World Journal first reported that Sherry’s father is Guo Hulin, a rich businessman who is wanted by the Chinese regime, along with his older brother, Wang Huyun.

On March 28, China’s Ministry of Public Security issued a warrant for the arrest of Guo and Wang and offered a reward of 200,000 yuan ($29,000) for the two suspects.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, Guo and Wang are charged with financial corruption related to embezzlement and fraud.

Guo, 47, and Wang, 56, are brothers with two different last names—one brother took their mother’s name, and the other took their father’s, according to World Journal. They lived in the Qingsong community of Baotou City, an industrial area and the largest city of Inner Mongolia, according to records released by the Ministry of Public Security.

According to Qichacha, a Chinese database company, Guo and Wang own about a dozen companies that are located in Shanghai and Inner Mongolia, and their business covers mining, trading, and manufacturing of mechanical tools.

Epoch Times Photo
Yale campus in New Haven, Connecticut on April 15, 2008. (Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)

Luxury Lifestyle in the US

World Journal reported on May 8 that Guo and Wang moved to the United States with their families in 2014 on a L1 visa.

The L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa and is available to employees of an international company with offices in both the United States and abroad. The report said Guo and Wang founded a U.S. branch of their Chinese company Shanghai Shenyin Ruihao Holdings Co Ltd and then applied for the L1 Visa as managers of this company.

Guo and Wang bought two houses in Pavilion Park, Irvine, California. Each home is now valued at about $1.2 million. They also bought two business offices at Jeffrey Road in Irvine, the report said.

World Journal reporters even visited the two houses and confirmed that Guo lived with his wife and daughter Sherry; while Wang lived with his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. Wang’s son and daughter-in-law had legally immigrated to the United States.

World Journal reported on May 11 that Guo and Wang were planning to move to a luxury house in Newport Beach, a coastal city in southern California, with their families, after their Pavilion Park houses were exposed by the media.

The new house—which has ocean views, six bedrooms, eight and a half bathrooms—is worth about $16 million, the report said.

The report quoted insiders who claimed that Guo and Wang lost their legal status in the United States after their L1 visa renewal applications were denied in 2018.

Rich Chinese Flee Overseas

The rich Chinese immigrate to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some European countries. Some of them are businessmen and corrupt officials.

Hong Kong political magazine Zhengming quoted an internal report that $1.5 trillion assets were transferred out of China by officials, businessmen, and their families. The report was compiled by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China, National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Bank of China, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, and Academy of Social Sciences in April 2017.

In detail, $520 billion are in the United States; $200 billion are in Canada; $180 billion are in the UK; $130 billion are in France; $120 billion are in Australia; $82 billion are in Spain; $60 billion are in Italy; $55 billion are in Germany; $36 billion are in Switzerland; and $30 billion are in the Netherlands.

Since 2018, the Chinese regime has tightened the control on capital outflows by limiting citizens’ bank accounts: They can only withdraw up to 100,000 yuan ($14,800) out of China each year.

In February 2019, it has enacted harsher punishments for those caught exchanging foreign currency outside official channels, in an effort to crack down on underground banking and to stymie capital outflow.

Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.