Chael Sonnen at Dec. 2 hearing before CSAC

Chael Sonnen at Dec. 2 hearing before CSAC

UFC fighter Chael Sonnen, recently in the spotlight for a suspension related to a failed drug test related to UFC 117, plead guilty to one count of federal money laundering on Monday, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon.

Sonnen admitted that a financial transaction designed to hide or disguise the ownership and control of proceeds of wire fraud.

The money laundering carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

“The scheme involved Joel Rosabal and Chadwick Amsden, employees of Crown Point Enterprises, dba Lighthouse Financial Group (Lighthouse), a mortgage brokerage service based principally in Vancouver, Washington, with operations in Oregon and elsewhere,” the press release revealed. “Rosabal and Amsden submitted a materially false loan application on the buyer’s behalf… Sonnen acted as the realtor for the transaction. Sonnen submitted a false letter and Sales Agreement Addendum instructing the title company to pay loan proceeds to a plumbing company for repairs to the home. In fact, Sonnen knew and had negotiated with Rosabal that no repairs would be performed on the home and the funds designated to the plumbing company would instead be paid to the buyer as a cash incentive to purchase the home. This agreement was not disclosed to (the mortgage company). Once the loan was funded, the title company paid over $69,000 to the plumbing company and the plumbing company, in turn and at Sonnen’s direction, paid $65,000 to the buyer of the home.”

A report on The Oregonian’s web site said that the government is recommending Sonnen be sentenced to two years of probation. It went on to state that as part of a plea deal, Sonnen agreed to give up his Realtor’s license and pay a $10,000 fine, according to Michelle Holman Kerin, the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case.

Sentencing for the money laundering charge is set for March 28, which would be less than two weeks after UFC 128.

Sonnen had a one-year suspension for the positive drug test result reduced to six months at an appeal before the California State Athletic Commission in December. His suspension is up March 2. He would then be eligible to return to fighting.

MMAJunkie.com is reporting that he will return at UFC 128 to face Yoshihiro Akiyama.

Sonnen had not returned a request for comment prior to the time of publication.

(UPDATED at 8:55 p.m. PT on Jan. 3, 2011 – Added information regarding Sonnen’s plea agreement and the possibility of him fighting at UFC 128.)

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Chael Sonnen Weighs in on Kevin Costner’s Desire for Olympic MMA

  • 24 days ago
  • 35 views

On this episode of Beyond the Fight, Chael Sonnen weighs in on award winning actor Kevin Costner's desire to see mixed martial arts in the Olympics. read news >>

Michael Chandler Will Battle Patricky Pitbull for Vacant Bellator Lightweight Title

  • 13 days ago
  • 2 views

Following the release of former lightweight champion Will Brooks, Bellator officials quickly followed up with an announcement to fill the vacancy. read news >>

Chael Sonnen: People Throwing Away the Idea of McGregor vs. Mayweather Are Wrong

  • 11 days ago
  • 97 views

Chael Sonnen says that those who dismiss a Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight altogether are wrong, and explains how the fight could come together. read news >>

Chael Sonnen Turns Promoter, Launches “Submission Underground” Grappling Event

  • 8 days ago
  • 8 views

The news was announced on Wednesday that former UFC contender Chael Sonnen has turned to promoting. read news >>

Chael Sonnen: ‘He Said Yes; That’s What Separates the Michael Bispings From the Rest’

  • 4 days ago
  • 425 views

You can say whatever you want about the UFC turning to Michael Bisping to fight Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Chael Sonnen certainly doesn't care what you think. read news >>

Chael Sonnen Talks with Mayhem Miller: Missing Weight, More Fights, and UFC Exit

  • a day ago
  • 59 views

Chael Sonnen goes one on one with Mayhem Miller about missing weight by 24 pounds, what his future holds, and the backstage blow-up that led to his UFC exit. read news >>