Chael Sonnen guilty of money laundering, could spend 20 years in prison

Don’t worry guys, a shipment for ‘Free Chael Sonnen’ shirts have already been ordered for We will be taking pre-orders later tonight, seriously.

According to The Lake Oswego Review (via an alleged U.S. Department of Justice press release which I couldn’t find at the time of publishing), Chael Sonnen admitted today before a judge that he was in control of a financial transaction that was used to hide and (or) disguise proceeds of mortgage fraud. This particular instance of money laundering carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, which means we may never see that rematch with Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva. In an article published in The Lake Oswego Review:

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.

And who said a real-estate agent and a potential congress member of West Linn, Oregon couldn’t be gangster? Still, we have to give it up to Lee Murray, the grand champion of stealing money, for pulling off the biggest diamond heist in the history of the planet. Sorry Chael, I think Bernie Madoff has you beat on this one. [Source]

Updated: More on the story has emerged from The Columbian (no, not the dude that you occasionally see at the bar. It’s the name of a newspaper/media-source). Props to Amy LaBelle for the find.

According to a news release, Sonnen acted as the real estate agent in a transaction involving a home in Portland, and submitted a false letter and sales agreement instructing the title company to disburse $69,000 to a contractor for plumbing repairs. However, in a deal arranged by Lighthouse employees, $65,000 of the money was actually kicked back to the buyer.

Federal prosecutors allege that two Lighthouse employees, Joel Rosabal and Chadwick Amsden, submitted the false loan application to a now-defunct subprime lender.

Oh, and just for an extra-super-special bonus, here’s a video of Chael Sonnen’s real-estate commercial.

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