A 33-year-old Portland-area real estate agent who dropped out of an Oregon state House race last year has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of money laundering.
Federal prosecutors say that in 2006, Chael Sonnen was acting as the real estate agent for a Portland home when he arranged for a title company to pay $69,000 to a plumbing company for repairs to the home that were never done. U.S. attorney's spokeswoman Gerri Badden said Monday that most of that money was paid to the buyer as a cash incentive to purchase the home.
Sonnen will be sentenced March 28. He faces a maximum 20 years and $500,000 fine.
He won the Republican primary for House District 37 last year, then sent Oregon Republicans scrambling to find a replacement candidate in June after he announced in a mixed martial arts magazine that he was no longer a contender. He said a legal issue had arisen.