Authorities alleged that Antle and his staff had “laundered more than $500,000 in cash they believe was the proceeds of an illegal immigrant smuggling operation across the Mexican border into the United States.” according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina. .
The indictment, received June 28, states that Antle and an employee “purchased or attempted to procure large amounts of cash, regardless of the source, and used that cash for a variety of purposes.” , including the purchase of animals and for other purposes associated with Myrtle Beach The Hunt.”
The lawsuit alleges Antle told the informant that he would “conceal the transaction and transfer cash through the Myrtle Beach Safari by inflating tourist numbers.”
Antle allegedly violated federal law by illegally trading wildlife and falsifying records of wildlife including lemurs, chimpanzees and cheetahs, which are listed as endangered endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, according to the indictment.
CNN has reached out to an attorney for Antle for comment.
He is facing up to 20 years in federal prison for money laundering and 5 years in prison for wildlife trafficking. A federal magistrate judge issued a federal bond to Antle.
Antle told CNN at the time, “I’ve spent my entire professional life promoting the welfare and conservation of big cats and other species. I have a deep interest and affection for animals. that I care for and would never hurt or mistreat them in any way.”
“I look forward to being able to answer these allegations and possibly clarify my identity,” he added.
According to the Frederick County Circuit Clerk’s office in Virginia, Antle is scheduled for an October jury trial for the 2020 case.
Antle owns a private zoo in South Carolina called Myrtle Beach Safari, which was featured in “Tiger King.” Earlier, he said he was “very disappointed” about his role in the documentary, CNN affiliate WPDE-TV reported.