UFC’s Chael Sonnen admits to money laundering
It appears that middleweight UFC fighter Chael Sonnen has been causing trouble both in and out of the octagon. Sonnen is currently under suspension from participating in mixed martial arts because he was caught taking performance-enhancing drugs. He also pleaded guilty in America to the charge of money laundering in a case that was linked to mortgage fraud.
The Oregon U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Sonnen had pleaded guilty to the charge while in court on Jan. 3rd. His sentencing will take place on March 28th and the fighter could receive a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years. However, it’s believed that Sonnen will cooperate with prosecutors by testifying against others who have been accused of mortgage fraud. This will likely see him receive a pretty light sentence and perhaps a fine.
So far, Sonnen has agreed to pay a U.S. $10,000 fine and will also hand in his real estate license to the state. It’s believed that the government prosecutors are recommending that Sonnen receive just a sentence of two years. That’s a slap on the wrist considering he’s also facing a fine of up to $500,000.
An attorney involved in the case said his office is going to continue to track down people who have committed mortgage fraud and prosecute them because it has contributed to the economic downturn in America and has created havoc in the housing market. He added that these people were entrusted professionals who were depended on to conduct real estate transactions honestly, but instead took advantage of people and broke the law by defrauding lending institutions across America.
Sonnen admitted to handing in a false sales agreement addendum and letter that involved paying a plumbing firm to conduct repairs on a home which Sonnen knew weren’t actually going to take place. Sonnen, a Republican, is a former candidate for the state legislature, but he withdrew from the race last year due to a “legal issue.” Sonnen also spoke of federal government problems last year after his suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was cut down to six months from 12.
Sonnen came close to upsetting Anderson Silva, the UFC Middleweight Champion last August in a thrilling fight, but came up short. The UFC promised him a rematch with the champion, but those plans were shelved after Sonnen’s drug test was found to be positive. This also affects our MMA betting ahead.
It’s unclear how his scrape with the federal government will now affect his MMA career, but it sure doesn’t look like it’s going to help him in any way. The UFC hasn’t announced yet when and if he’ll be reinstated. He was scheduled to take on Yoshihiro Akiyama in UFC 128 in New Jersey on March 19, but that has been scrapped.