‘Tiger King’ Star Doc Antle Facing 10 Years In Prison For Trafficking Animals

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Doc Antle, who gained notoriety for his feature in "Tiger King," has pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and to launder money. Now, he is facing ten years behind bars.

Antle is the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari — an exotic wildlife preserve —  which was featured in the Netflix series. The 63-year-old was accused of trafficking endangered animals and trying to fraudulently cover up the money trail.

In June, Antle was acquitted of five counts of animal cruelty by a jury. The judge also dismissed four more animal cruelty charges facing Antle and all charges against his two adult daughters.

'Tiger King' Doc Antle Pleads Guilty In Federal Case


How Does Patrick Dempsey Feel About Being PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive?

Blac Chyna Completes ‘Parent Education’ Course Amid Custody Battle With Tyga

Khloe Kardashian Settles Lawsuit Over Unpaid Wages To Former Assistant

Kanye West’s Wife SLAMS Kim Kardashian Over ‘Tacky’ Apartment Comments

Kanye West Fires Back At Employee’s Lawsuit Over Brutal Working Conditions

Antle pleaded guilty at the Charleston federal courthouse to counts of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and conspiracy to launder money. Antle faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and three years of supervised release for each count.

He has yet to be sentenced. The exact jail term will be decided by the judge.

Tiger King star Doc Antle, real name Bhagavan Antle, has been arrested on alleged money laundering charges.

The Lacey Act prohibits the trafficking of illegally taken wildlife, fish, or plants, including animals protected under the Endangered Species Act.

According to reports, Antle, as far back as 2018, paid huge amounts of money to illegally purchase endangered species and then sell them to unknown clients. That year, he bought two young cheetahs for $35,000 with the help of an unknown person he paid to travel to Florida to make the transaction.

In 2019, he allegedly sold two lion cubs to an organization in exchange for $15,000. He was also accused of making $10,000 in payments to the Rare Species Fund in exchange for two tigers transported from South Carolina to Montana in March of that year.

The wildlife preserve owner, also the director of the non-profit Rare Species Fund, paid $200,000 in cash for a young chimpanzee in May 2020. The creature was transported from Florida to Myrtle Beach Safari. Alongside the crime of trafficking those endangered animals, Antle allegedly falsified paperwork to cover up his illegal transactions.

He reportedly used bulk cash payments to hide the transactions and requested that payments for the endangered species be made to his nonprofit as "donations." He was accused of laundering money by making transactions with cash obtained from transporting and harboring undocumented immigrants.

Prosecutors found evidence of money laundering between Feb. and April 2022. To hide their illegal cash, Antle and his co-conspirator deposited the cash into bank accounts they controlled. They would then write a check to the person who provided them the cash but not without taking a 15% fee per transaction.

"The defendant held himself out as a conservationist, yet repeatedly violated laws protecting endangered animals and then tried to cover up those violations," Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said of Antle.

"This investigation revealed a pattern of illicit wildlife transactions orchestrated by the defendant under the guise of donations and false paperwork," said the Assistant Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement.

He continued, "The Service and our partners will continue to hold accountable those involved in wildlife trafficking and other related crimes to ensure the future of all federally protected species. The Service will continue to bring to justice individuals who profit from the illegal trafficking of big cats and endangered species."

Antle is the latest "Tiger King" star to be embroiled in troubles with the law. Recall that the lead star, Joe Exotic, has been behind bars as part of a 21-year sentence for trying to hire two different men to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO and "Tiger King" nemesis Carole Baskin.

Also, in January 2022, we reported that Masha Diduk — who played Jeff Lowe’s hot nanny in the show — was arrested for grand larceny in Vegas.

Story Developing...