Sonnen pleads guilty to money laundering

ESPN staff
January 4, 2011
Chael Sonnen has pleaded guilty to money laundering © UFC

Chael Sonnen could be facing a jail sentence after pleading guilty to one count of money laundering in 2006.

Sonnen, currently serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, will be sentenced on March 28 after pleading guilty to money laundering related to mortgage fraud during his role as an estate agent.

Sonnen could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000, but is expected to be handed a reduced sentence if he cooperates as a witness against others involved in the mortgage fraud investigation. The US government will reportedly recommend that Sonnen be sentenced to two years probation.

Sonnen allegedly submitted a false letter and arranged a title company to pay $69,000 to a plumbing company for repairs to a home that he knew would not be made.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Sonnen "admitted that a financial transaction he conducted was designed to conceal or disguise the ownership and control of the proceeds of wire fraud."

Sonnen is currently serving a six-month suspension after testing positive for abnormally high levels of testosterone before his UFC 117 loss to Anderson Silva.

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