Chael Sonnen Sentencing Postponed Until April 8, 2011

March 28, 2011

Following up on my post, Chael Sonnen Guilty Plea, I checked the docket and it appears that the Court adjourned Sonnen’s sentencing hearing from March 28, 2011 (i.e. today) to April 8, 2011.

As you may recall from my earlier post, here are some of the allegations from the Superseding Information:

On or about June 20, 2006, in the District of Oregon, CHAEL PATRICK SONNEN, defendant herein, did knowingly conduct and attempt to conduct a financial transaction affecting interstate commerce, to wit, he caused a check in the amount of $69,091.53 to be issued and negotiated from a bank account at U.S. Bank, which involved the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity, that is wire fraud. Defendant further knew that the financial transaction was designed in whole or in part to conceal or disguise the ownership and control of the proceeds of wire fraud, to wit, defendant and others devised and intended to devise a material scheme and artifice to defraud Decision One Mortgage, and to obtain money and property from Decision One Mortgage by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, and that while conducting and attempting to conduct such financial transaction, defendant knew that the property involved in the financial transaction represented the proceeds of the unlawful activity, wire fraud.

In his Petition to Enter Plea of Guilty, Sonnen “represent[ed] that [he] did the following acts and that the following facts are true:”

On or about June 20, 2006, in the District of Oregon, I knowingly caused a check to be issued by USNB in the amount of $69,091.53 to Crown Plumbing from the mortgage loan proceeds at the closing of the [] sale of 11249 S.E. Rolling Hills. I knew that these funds would not be paid to Crown Plumbing, but kicked back to the buyer, []. The purpose of this transaction was to further a scheme to defraud Decision One Mortgage by representing that these funds paid for repairs on the residence.

In the Petition, Sonnen pled guilty to the following elements of the charge alleged against him:

(1) Defendant conducted a financial transaction involving property that represented the proceeds of wire fraud: (2) defendant knew that the property represented the proceeds of wire fraud: and (3) defendant knew that the transaction was designed in whole or in part to disguise the ownership and control of the proceeds of wire fraud. I have had a full and adequate opportunity to disclose to my attorney all facts known to me that relate to my case. I understand that the Court may ask whether I am satisfied with the advice I have received from my attorney.

The Petition also stated as follows:

I am not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I am not suffering from any injury, illness or disability affecting my thinking or my ability to reason except as follows:  None. I have not taken any drugs or medications within the past seven (7) days except as follows: Testosterone and Ambien

In addition, in the Petition Sonnen indicated that he understood the maximum possible sentence:

I know the maximum sentence which can be imposed upon me for the crime to which I am pleading guilty is twenty years imprisonment and a fine of $500,000.  I also know there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 0 years imprisonment.

The Plea Agreement between Sonnen and the Government provides as follows:

The Parties agree and will recommend that defendant serve a two (2) year probationary sentence and pay a fine of $10,000. Defendant also agrees and understands that as a condition of this recommendation, defendant will take all necessary steps to administratively forfeit his license in the state of Oregon and any other state in which defendant is currently licensed to engage in the sale and purchase of real estate by the time of his sentencing. Failure to do so is a breach of this agreement. The parties agree that a term of probation along with the other terms outlined in this agreement meet the criteria of 18 U. S.C. §3553 because it adequately protects the public from defendant, who is unlikely to engage in further criminal conduct, it promotes respect for the law and it provides for just punishment as defendant is giving up his livelihood and accepting a felony record. Moreover, the sentence and terms of this agreement promote general deterrence as well.

I will continue to monitor.

Fight Lawyer

Justin Klein is a partner of the law firm Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP in New York City where he concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and represents clients in the fight industry.  He regularly addresses current legal issues that pertain to combat sports, including efforts to legalize MMA in New York, at his Fight Lawyer website.  He is a licensed boxing manager with the New York State Athletic Commission as well as the founder and Chairman of the Board of the New York Mixed Martial Arts Initiative, a non-profit organization that gives inner city youth the opportunity to experience the emotional and physical benefits of martial arts training.  Justin lives in New York City where he trains in jiu jitsu and boxing.


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One Response to “Chael Sonnen Sentencing Postponed Until April 8, 2011”

  1. Machiel Van on March 29th, 2011 10:22 AM

    So, can he never again get a real estate license? That would be devastating to his post-MMA earning power. Anyone know?

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