Chael Sonnen pleads guilty to money laundering
BY KARA HANSEN MURPHEY
The West Linn Tidings, Jan 3, 2011, Updated 19.6 hours ago (3 Reader comments)
Chael Sonnen, a licensed Realtor from West Linn, an ultimate fighting champion and one-time candidate for a seat in Congress, pled guilty to a federal money laundering charge Monday.
Chael Sonnen, an ultimate fighting champion and one-time candidate for a seat in Congress, has pleaded to a federal money laundering charge.
A licensed Realtor from West Linn, Sonnen admitted before a judge Monday that he conducted a financial transaction designed to hide or disguise the ownership and control of proceeds of mortgage fraud, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
The development is the latest during a rough stretch for Sonnen.
The UFC middleweight is suspended from fighting after reportedly testing positive for drugs in late 2010.
Sonnen had dropped out of the race for House District 37 last June citing a 2006 “legal issue” demanding his attention.
After he bowed out, the Republican party chose Julie Parrish, a political newcomer from West Linn, to replace Sonnen in the race against Democrat Will Rasmussen, a lawyer from West Linn. Parrish won election as House 37’s representative in November.
Marcus Williams, a special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigations for the Pacific Northwest, issued a public statement about Sonnen’s case.
“West Linn residents, and other residents throughout the Portland-Vancouver area, can rest assured knowing that federal law enforcement agencies take mortgage fraud very seriously because it played a major role in almost crippling this nation’s banking system just a few years ago,” he said.
Money laundering carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
Sonnen’s sentencing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. March 28.