Update: Sonnen Fined $10,000 in Money Laundering Case

By Mike Whitman Apr 8, 2011
Former UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen was today fined $10,000 for one count of money laundering in relation to mortgage fraud.

Speaking with a United States District Court official, Sherdog.com confirmed that the fighter was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine by Judge Michael W. Mosman today at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in downtown Portland, Ore. According to court minutes, Sonnen intended to pay the amount following today's 11:30 a.m. hearing.

Court minutes also explained that Sonnen's full sentence will follow, though the docket did not specify when. ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto later reported that the fighter was also placed on two years of probation and had his real estate license revoked.

On Dec. 28, the United States Attorney's Office of the District of Oregon charged Sonnen with one count of money laundering which allegedly occurred in 2006. Sonnen plead guilty to the charge on Jan. 3, as outlined in a press release from the United States Attorney's Office:

“Sonnen, at the time a licensed realtor in the State of Oregon, admitted that a financial transaction he conducted was designed to conceal or disguise the ownership and control of the proceeds of wire fraud.”

According to the release, Sonnen, who acted as the real estate agent for the buyers of a Portland home, allegedly worked in conjunction with two other men to submit a mortgage loan application to Decision One Mortage, asking the lending institution to pay over $69,000 to a plumbing company for repairs on the home. The release explains:

“In fact, Sonnen knew and had negotiated...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 Decision One Mortgage.”

According to the document, $65,000 of the $69,000 was paid to the buyers by the plumbing company under Sonnen's supervision.

Sonnen was supposed to square off with Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128 in March, but the fighter's UFC contract was effectively frozen by the promotion due to the charge filed against him. A member of Team Quest, Sonnen was last seen taking middleweight champion Anderson Silva to the limit, dominating the Brazilian for four rounds before succumbing to an improbable, come-from-behind triangle choke at UFC 117 in August.

This item was updated at 9:15 p.m. ET to include information reported by ESPN.com.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>
Around The Web