To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Tiger King star Doc Antle pleads guilty to animal trafficking and money laundering
Featured Image Credit: J Reuben Long Detention Center. Instagram/Doc Antle

Tiger King star Doc Antle pleads guilty to animal trafficking and money laundering

He is facing several years in prison for each charge against him.

Doc Antle has pleaded guilty to money laundering and animal trafficking.

The Tiger King star appeared a lot in the series and he was the operator of the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, which is also known as The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species.

On the show, he appeared as a rival to Exotic as well as Carole Baskin, and Antle was accused of killing his tigers to make more room for breeding.

He also allegedly ran a cult-like operation at his safari and required female staff to be 'single, childless, to abstain from eating meat'.

However, the 63-year-old, whose real name is Bhagavan Antle, allegedly oversaw the sale or purchase of lion cubs, tigers, cheetah cubs and a juvenile chimpanzee.

These are all protected as endangered species, according to the US Justice Department.

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

An investigation into Antle has allegedly discovered he 'used money made through the transportation and harbouring of illegal immigrants', according to Sky News.

He's pleaded guilty to the money laundering charge, as well as violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits the trafficking of illegally taken wildlife, including animals protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The US Justice Department said: "Antle used bulk cash payments to hide the transactions and falsified paperwork to show non-commercial transfers entirely within one state.

"Antle also requested that payments for endangered species be made to his nonprofit so they could appear as 'donations'.”

It added: "To conceal and disguise the nature of the illegal cash, Antle and his coconspirator would take the cash they received and deposit it into bank accounts they controlled.

"They would then write a check to the individual that had provided the cash after taking a 15% fee per transaction."

He now faces up to five years in jail for each count.

He could also be fined up to $250,000 and three years of supervised released for each count.

US District Judge Joseph Dawson III for the District of South Carolina will sentence Antle once he has seen and reviewed the sentencing report prepared by the US Probation Office.

Topics: Animals, Celebrity