Tiger King star Lord “Doc” Antle has been charged with laundering more than half a million dollars (£400,000), federal prosecutors said on Monday, believed to be involved in smuggling immigrants across the Mexican border into the United States. income for one operation.
The charges against Antle and Andrew John Sawyer, one of Antle’s employees at Myrtle Beach Safari were disclosed during a federal court hearing in Florence, South Carolina, in the US.
According to federal prosecutors, Antle and Sawyer robbed $505,000 over a four-month period, removing checks from businesses they controlled, receiving a fee of 15% of the money that passed through their hands.
Prosecutors allege that the checks were falsely purported to pay for construction work at the Myrtle Beach Safari, but were in fact evidence that the recipients had legitimate income.
According to the complaint reported in court, Antle discussed his plan to hide the cash he would receive by increasing tourist numbers to his 50-acre Wildlife Tropical Reserve.
Prosecutors also said he had previously used bulk cash receipts to buy animals for which he could not use checks.
That’s right, ‘Doc’ Antle is behind bars after years of harboring endangered animals he uses in tawdry photo opsDebbie Metzler, Petas
According to officials, Antle and Sawyer face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison if convicted.
Antle features prominently in Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, a 2020 Netflix documentary miniseries that focuses on tiger breeders and private zoo operators in the US.
The series focused heavily on Oklahoma Zoo operator Joe Exotic, who was also targeted for animal abuse and convicted of plotting to kill an opponent, Carole Baskin.
Animal rights advocates have accused Antle of mistreating lions and other wildlife. He was charged with animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking in Virginia in 2020.
video of the day
In May, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked the Internal Revenue Service to look into Antle’s Rare Species Fund, a nonprofit fundraising fund for wildlife conservation.
PETA alleges it uses some of the fund’s money to subsidize its safari site in Sokasti outside Myrtle Beach.
“It’s true that ‘Doc’ Antle is behind bars after years of harboring endangered animals that he uses in Tawny Photo Ops.
Their legal woes are mounting, said Debbie Metzler, associate director of PETA’s Captive Animal Law, as PETA recently blew the whistle over its apparent ‘charity’ scandal, and the end of their regime of terrorizing tiger cubs. Can’t be sooner.” Department of Enforcement, in a statement.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, Antle is facing two charges of conspiracy to commit wildlife trafficking and trafficking of wildlife, as well as 13 counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act and animal cruelty involving the trafficking of lion cubs. facing charges.
Those charges are to be heard next month.
Antle has a history of punishment dating back to 1989, when he was fined by the US Department of Agriculture for releasing deer and peacocks at their zoo in Virginia.