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Category: UFC

Chael Sonnen: Guilty of Federal Money Laundering

Written on January 05, 2011 by Markham Mencken

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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 last Monday.

UFC fighter, , is once again in the spotlight after pleading guilty to one count of federal last Monday. He admitted that a financial transaction designed to disguise the ownership and control of proceeds of wire fraud occurred. As stated on a press release from the US Attorney’s Office in Oregon:

“The scheme involved Joel Rosabal and Chadwick Amsden, employees of Crown Point Enterprises, dba Lighthouse Financial Group, a mortgage brokerage service based principally in Vancouver, Washington, with operations in Oregon and elsewhere.”

“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.”

The money laundering is sentenced up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 fine. Based on the report from The Oregonian web site, the government is recommending two years of probation for Chael Sonnen. More over, the plea deal requires the fighter to give up his Realtor’s License in addition to a $10,000 fine. Sentencing for the federal money laundering is set on March 28 — less than two weeks after UFC 128.

After appealing before the California State Athletic Commission about his failed UFC 117 post-fight , Chael Sonnen’s suspension was reduced from one year to six months. His suspension is effective until March 2, making him eligible to return to the Octagon. It is reported that Chael Sonnen will face Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128. Still, another hurdle is blocking Chael Sonnen’s way to redemption.

Can he make it through? Share your insights by leaving a comment.

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