Chael Sonnen Sentenced to Probation, $10,000 Fine in Laundering Case

Chael Sonnen can finally start looking forward to the next phase of his life after a U.S. federal court handed down his penalty for a guilty plea stemming from a money laundering case.

U.S. attorney's office spokesperson Gerri Badden told MMA Fighting that Sonnen was sentenced on Friday to 24 months probation, a $10,000 fine, and forfeiture of his real estate license as the result of his Jan. 3 guilty plea.

In his plea, Sonnen admitted that he was part of a financial transaction that was conducted or designed to disguise the ownership of funds due to wire fraud. The charge had carried a possible fine of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

According to a press release issued to MMA Fighting through the Department of Justice, though Sonnen pled guilty to a single count of money laundering, the plea agreement resolved potential charges arising out of five additional transactions.

Sonnen was sentenced in the case by Judge Michael W. Mosman in the district of Oregon's Portland courts.

The sentencing hopefully closes the latest chapter in a rocky road for the UFC middleweight contender, who back in August was just minutes away from capturing the championship before submitting in the fifth round in a fight against Anderson Silva. Afterward, Sonnen's drug test came back with high levels of testosterone/epitestosterone, leading to a steroids suspension that has since been served.

His contract was eventually frozen by the UFC, with company president Dana White saying Sonnen would not be in the company's plans until he took care of his legal problems.

Though the terms of his probation are as of yet unknown, Sonnen's management team has voiced a hope that he could re-start his career soon after sentencing. Fresh off his steroids suspension though, he will likely have to appear before any state sanctioning committee to earn a fighter's license before officially returning to the cage.

Sonnen (25-11-1) turned 34 years old last week.

Two other defendants involved with cases related to the scam have already been sentenced. Mortgage broker Marty Folwick was sentenced to 63 months in prison for putting together as many as 70 fraudulent loans and taking nearly $900,000 in kickbacks, while loan officer Kamau Herndon received two years for submitting three false home applications totaling more than $1.5 million. Three additional defendants are either in the trial or sentencing phases.
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