Doc Antle has been mixed up with some shady business dealings involving huge sums of cash that crossed over into illegal territory — at least according to federal prosecutors.
The ‘Tiger King’ star’s federal indictment was unsealed Monday — this after he was arrested by the FBI last week in South Carolina — and his charges are spelled out clear as day. He’s facing 2 money laundering counts … and is accused of having laundered upwards of $500k with an employee/business partner of his who was in on the alleged plot.
Per the docs — obtained by TMZ — Doc and this employee, Andrew Sawyer, were soliciting people as early as 2019 to help launder money through a check-writing scheme in which they’d get cash upfront and write a check back to the person … minus a fee for helping clean the money.
The feds allege Doc and Sawyer had a 15% washing fee … and that the guys laundered around $505,000 between February and April of 2022. The FBI says they had 2 undercover informants working the case — and claim to have tons of incriminating audio recordings and tapes of both men.
We’d already been told his bust had to do with alleged money laundering, but now we’re getting the full breadth of the case — and it’s pretty insane. They make Doc sound like a regular white collar crook … albeit one who lives in a lot of greenery.
As you know, Doc runs a wildlife preserve down in Myrtle Beach … where he houses a ton of different animals in a zoo-like environment. Unfortunately for him, the operation there has also been the subject of much scrutiny since he was put on the map via ‘Tiger King.’
In fact, Doc had previously faced criminal charges on the state level for alleged wrongdoing at the Myrtle Beach Safari — Virginia’s AG hit with an indictment of their own, alleging he was trafficking lion cubs across state lines … which Doc denied at the time.
He’s also gotten heat from PETA for letting celeb guests swing by and interact with the animals on a very personal level. Still, PETA never had any real power to make him change his practices.
Doc’s due to show up in court on Monday to hear the charges against him — although, it’s unclear if he’s going to enter a plea or not. The first count carries a max sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
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