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Chael Sonnen Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering, Faces Up to 20 Years in Jail and $500,000 Fine


("Didn’t you listen in the meeting, Woogy? You don’t say ‘pyramid scheme,’ you call it a ‘real estate development opportunity.’"

Just three days into 2011 and the year is already turning out to be much worse than the last for Chael Sonnen.

The suspended UFC middleweight who is also a licensed realtor in West Linn, Oregon pled guilty of money laundering Monday in federal court.

According to the Lake Oswego Review, a U.S. Department of Justice press release sent out today states that that Sonnen "conducted a financial transaction designed to hide or disguise the ownership and control of proceeds of mortgage fraud." 

You might recall that Sonnen bowed out of the race for Oregon senate house seat in June because of "a legal matter that demanded attention," — the same legal matter that Chael told HDNet’s Mike Straka that he was too busy with to deal with preparations for his CSAC hearing in December himself. Now we can understand why it took precedence over having his fighting license reinstated.

Money laundering in the U.S. carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison as well as a $500,000 fine.

His sentencing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. March 28, which explains why he stated during his MMA Live appearance last week that he wants to fight as soon as he can when his suspension is up on March 1. He’ll likely need the money.


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