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Tag: money laundering

No Jail for Chael: Sonnen Gets Fine, Probation from Uncle Sam

(For whatever reason, it’s selling much better than those “Just Turn State’s Evidence, Homie” T-shirts. Pic: DiazBros.com)

One more bullet dodged for the fighter you love to hate: Chael Sonnen will do no time for his role in a money laundering scheme in his home state of Oregon, according to MMAFighting.com. A US District Court judge sentenced Sonnen to two years probation, a $10,000 fine and the loss of his real estate license on Friday after the UFC middleweight pleaded guilty to federal mortgage fraud charges in January.

As part of the plea, Sonnen admitted he was party to “a financial transaction that was conducted or designed to disguise the ownership of funds due to wire fraud,” according to the report. Though he got off a lot easier than two other defendants who have already been sentenced in the case, Sonnen still faces some obstacles to restarting his MMA career, if his recent public spat with Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer is any indication.

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Fun Flashback: Remember When Sonnen Said He Worked as a Realtor to ‘Contribute to Society in a Meaningful Way’?


("Chael, can you respond to allegations that, like Frankie Edgar, your mother has been laying the pipe for years?" PicProps: The Oregonian)

So, during the last 24 hours the gigantic, teetering house of cards that is Chael Sonnen’s life has become even more morally untenable than before, huh? At this point — even for those of us who once considered his promotional antics entertaining — it’s become nearly impossible to tell Chael Sonnen the human being apart from Chael Sonnen the carnival huckster. Maybe there never was a difference. Maybe both of Sonnen’s personalities, professional and private, have been consummate bullshit artists all along.

By way of example, a day after he pleaded guilty to federal money laundering charges and agreed to turn stoolie on his co-conspirators in a shady real estate scam that somehow involved a plumbing company owned by his mom, we feel compelled to revisit Sonnen’s July, 2010 interview with the Houston Chronicle. You may remember it as the one where he repeatedly asserted that “full time fighters” were just too lazy to get real jobs and said he was obligated to keep his own regular gig as a realtor because – in the newspaper’s words — he “believes that he can contribute to society in a meaningful way.”

When viewed in hindsight of this week’s developments we think you’ll find it even more interesting (read: hilarious) than before.

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Chaelgate Update #1: Probation, Snitchin’, and Sexyama

Chael Sonnen MMA funny gif busted real estate money laundering
("…so if you’re looking for a realtor who’s courteous, motivated, and accepts his commissions in Human Growth Hormone, you know who to call." Gif amazingness via MMAScraps)

A few new details to add to last night’s Chael Sonnen money laundering bombshell:

— I know, we were all drooling with schadenfreude when we heard that money laundering carries a max sentence of 20 years and a half-milly fine. But don’t start planning Chael’s going-away party just yet, folks. According to the Oregonian, the government will recommend that Sonnen be sentenced to just two years of probation at his sentencing in March; as part of his plea deal, Sonnen also agreed to forfeit his realtor’s license and pay a $10,000 fine. And why is Chael getting off so easily? The loud-mouthed UFC contender is expected to cooperate as a witness against others involved in the mortgage fraud investigation. In other words, he’s a rat in addition to being a lying scam-artist with malfunctioning testicles.

— Just as the money laundering story broke, MMA Junkie reported that Sonnen had been scheduled to face Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128 (March 19, Newark), just 17 days after his CSAC suspension ends. We’d consider that booking "tentative" considering the legal heat that’s now dogging Sonnen. Sexyama’s Octagon record dropped to 1-2 following his decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 120, though all three of his UFC bouts have earned "Fight of the Night" honors.

After the jump, more on the specific charge that Sonnen pled guilty to…

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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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