‘Tiger King’ star Doc Antle will face money laundering charges

‘Tiger King’ star Doc Antle will face money laundering charges

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (AP) – ‘Tiger King’ star Bhagavan ‘Doc’ Antle has been arrested by the FBI and is expected to appear in court on Monday to face federal money laundering charges, the report said. ‘Associated Press a person familiar with the matter.

Federal agents arrested the controversial wildlife trainer on Friday and he was in custody at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Conway, South Carolina, throughout the weekend.

Antle, the owner of the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, is featured prominently in “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” a 2020 Netflix documentary miniseries focusing on tiger breeders and private zoo operators in the United States. United States. The series focused heavily on Oklahoma zoo operator Joe Exotic, who was also targeted for animal abuse and convicted of a plot to kill rival Carole Baskin.

The charges against Antle, 62, were to be formally announced during court proceedings on Monday afternoon in Florence, South Carolina. The charges relate to allegations of money laundering, a person familiar with the matter told the AP on Saturday. The person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Animal rights activists have accused Antle of abusing lions and other wildlife. He was indicted in Virginia in 2020 for animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking.

In May, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked the IRS to investigate Antle’s Rare Species Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for wildlife conservation. PETA alleges that it uses some of the money from the fund to subsidize its safari site in Socastee outside of Myrtle Beach.

“It’s fitting that ‘Doc’ Antle is behind bars after years of locking up endangered animals he uses in sordid photo ops. His legal troubles are piling up, as PETA recently exposed his apparent ‘charity’ scam, and the end of his reign of terrorizing baby tigers can’t come soon enough,” said Debbie Metzler, associate director of the app. of PETA’s Captive Animals Law division, in a statement.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Antle faces two counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in wildlife, as well as 13 counts of conspiracy to violate the endangered species law and animal cruelty charges related to the trafficking of lion cubs. Those charges are expected to go to trial next month.

Antle has a history of recorded violations, dating back to 1989, when he was fined by the US Department of Agriculture for abandoning deer and peacocks at his Virginia zoo. Over the years he has over 35 USDA violations for mistreating animals.


Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.

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