By Jennifer Henderson, CNN
(CNN) — Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, who appeared in the 2020 docuseries “Tiger King,” and four others have been indicted on 10 charges of wildlife trafficking and money laundering.
Authorities allege that Antle and his employee “laundered more than $500,000 in cash that they believed was the proceeds of an operation to smuggle illegal immigrants across the Mexican border into the United States,” according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office. District of South Carolina.
The indictment, received on June 28, alleges that Antle and an employee “purchased or attempted to obtain bulk cash receipts, regardless of source, and used that money for a variety of purposes, including buying animals and for other purposes related to the Myrtle Beach. Safari.”
According to the complaint, Antle told the informant that he would “hide the transaction and move the money through the Myrtle Beach Safari by increasing the number of tourists”.
According to the indictment, Antle allegedly violated federal law by illegally trading wildlife and falsifying data on the wildlife, including lemurs, a chimpanzee and cheetahs, which the indictment considers endangered or threatened.
CNN has reached out to lawyers for Antle for comment.
He faces up to 20 years in prison for money laundering and up to five years for wildlife trafficking. A federal magistrate has awarded Antle a federal bond.
In October 2020, Antle was indicted on separate wildlife trafficking charges following an investigation by then-Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.
Antle told CNN at the time, “I have devoted my entire professional life to promoting the welfare and conservation of big cats and other species. I have deep respect and feelings for the animals I care for and would in no way hurt them.” do or abuse.”
“I look forward to answering these charges and clearing my good name,” he added.
According to the Frederick County Circuit Clerk’s office in Virginia, Antle is scheduled to face a jury trial in October for the 2020 case.
Antle owns a private zoo in South Carolina called Myrtle Beach Safari, which was featured in “Tiger King.” He previously said he was “deeply disappointed” with his portrayal in the documentary, CNN affiliate WPDE-TV reported.
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