Sonnen Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering (Department of Justice Press Release)


District of Oregon


DOJ Seal

January 03, 2011

Chael Sonnen Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering Related to Mortgage Fraud

PORTLAND, Ore. – Chael Sonnen, 33, of West Linn, Oregon, plead guilty today to one count of money laundering in federal court before the Honorable Michael Mosman. Sentencing is scheduled on March 28, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

Sonnen, a licensed realtor in the State of Oregon, admitted that a financial transaction he conducted was designed to conceal or disguise the ownership and control of the proceeds of wire fraud. The scheme involved Joel Rosabal and Chadwick Amsden, employees of Crown Point Enterprises, dba Lighthouse Financial Group (Lighthouse), a mortgage brokerage service based principally in Vancouver, Washington, with operations in Oregon and elsewhere. Rosabal and Amsden submitted a materially false loan application on the buyer’s behalf to Decision One Mortgage, a subprime lending institution that is now defunct, for the purchase of residential property located at 11249 SE Rolling Hills Lane, Portland, Oregon. Sonnen acted as the realtor for the transaction. Sonnen submitted a false letter and Sales Agreement Addendum instructing the title company to pay loan proceeds to a plumbing company for repairs to the home. In fact, Sonnen knew and had negotiated with Rosabal that no repairs would be performed on the home and the funds designated to the plumbing company would instead be paid to the buyer as a cash incentive to purchase the home. This agreement was not disclosed to Decision One Mortgage. Once the loan was funded, the title company paid over $69,000 to the plumbing company and the plumbing company, in turn and at Sonnen’s direction, paid $65,000 to the buyer of the home.

“This office will continue to aggressively prosecute real estate professionals who committed the mortgage fraud that contributed to this country’s economic downturn and wreaked havoc on our community’s housing market. We entrusted these professionals to honestly broker real estate transactions and instead, they defrauded lending institutions throughout the country and left financial ruin in their wake,” said Dwight Holton, U. S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

Marcus Williams, the Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigations for the Pacific Northwest said, “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.”

Money Laundering carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

There are currently two other cases related to Lighthouse pending in the United States District Court of Oregon, United States v. Joel Rosabal et al., USDC Case No. 10-CR-00195 and United States v. Chadwick Amsden, et al., USDC Case No. 10-CR-00196. In addition, three other defendants have pled guilty and have been sentenced to charges related to Lighthouse as well: United States v. Kamau Herndon, USDC Case No. 09-CR-00068, United States v. Marty Folwick, USDC Case No. 08-CR-00280, United States v. Kristen Buse, Case No. 08-CR-00283.

This investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case against Chael Sonnen is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Michelle Holman Kerin. The pending cases involving Lighthouse are being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Michelle Holman Kerin and Allan Garten.

16 Responses to “Sonnen Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering (Department of Justice Press Release)”

  1. bvrasp says:

    Damn, the guy annoys me but I didn’t want anything this bad to happen to him. He cheated once and he got burnt, he cheated again and he got burnt once again. Hopefully he learned his lesson now and will be given the chance to redeem himself somehow… If it’s not already too late.

  2. Soap Dropper says:

    Further proof that people who think they are too smart for their own good usually are.

    No sympathy for this meathead. Do the scam, pay the man…

    • chosen141 says:

      Soap im gonna have to agree with you on this one,,,
      This guy is has a shit load of intelegents but still he keeps on doing stupid things,,,,


      From what i see most of all the new upcoming favorites are acting like little kids disrespecting the sport

      its a shame !

    • bvrasp says:

      He needs to pay the price, no question about it, but not 20 years man…

      • MMAKansas says:

        Betcha the UFC helps get him a good attorney, and he pays a hefty fine with community service and probation .. bet.

  3. MMAKansas says:

    Here’s my question – Paul daley takes a cheap late shot on the dirtiest fighter who faked illegal shots and everything – and he gets excommunicated from the UFC .. Babalu holds a choke late and gets kick the eff out of the UFC, but Chael big mouth Sonnen gets popped on roids, and then Federal Money Laundering, I.E. he is going to have a felony record for this, and he gets A MAIN EVENT SPOT ON UFC 128 RIGHT???? THIS ALL MAKES SENSE RIGHT???? IN MY WORLD THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!!!!

  4. mmayse says:

    Just further proves the UFC doesn’t care what you do outside of the cage. Sure they make exceptions, but not often.

  5. bvrasp says:

    You know what baffles me? When you’re involved in such shady dealings in real estate and fighting and probably politics too, why in the hell are you drawing so much attention to yourself???

    First rule of being a crook is to fly under the radar and dont draw heat on yourself. Guy is hooting and hollering for everyone to hear. You put yourself in the spotlight and you don’t think they’ll start digging up dirt on you?

    Time for Chael to get his mind right and turn things around or things will continue to go very badly for him.

  6. mmayse says:

    Sounds like typical Sonnen. Politics, fighting, and real estate. Three very shady businesses. I wonder if he bet against himself in the Silva fight? Then took that money to launder. LOL CONSPIRACY!!!! 😉

  7. richard says:

    the guy is going to get sometime the u.s might not be able to do much in terms of the justice systems but fuck with there money and trust me they always get there man if u dont believe me ask al capone

  8. mmayse says:

    No he isn’t. Fined, and a suspended license to sell real estate. Bet on it.

  9. mmayse says:

    Chael by decision.

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