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Wildlife Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to wildlife fraud. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Another “Magic Pipe” Down the Drain: Whistleblower Tips Lead to Guilty Plea in Ocean Dumping Case

Posted  03/19/20
M/T Zao Galaxy from DOJ files
Whistleblowers and an alert Coast Guard examiner exposed the illegal ocean-dumping of unfiltered bilge water by Singapore shipping company Unix Line PTE. The company pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) after a conscientious crew member slipped a note reading “magic pipe” and “damage marine environment” to the  examiner inspecting the ship M/T Zao Galaxy.  Another crew...

Question of the Week: How Badly do you Want to Stop Animal Trafficking?

Posted  01/17/20
image of endangered-species
Last week, the Department of Justice indicted a New York man, Christopher Casacci, for illegally importing and selling dozens of African wild cats.  Doing business as “,” Casacci brought into the United States and sold dozens of caracals (Caracal caracal) and servals (Leptailurus serval). Caracals, known as the “desert lynx,” are wild cats native to Africa, and grow to approximately 45 pounds....

Blowing the Whistle on Environmental Abuse: Investigation of Kanto Kosan for Wastewater Dumping at Naval Bases in Japan

Posted  12/6/19
fleet of navy ships
Earlier this week, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Navy’s law enforcement arm, announced that it was investigating contractor Kanto Kosan for allegedly dumping wastewater from warships at harbors in Navy bases in Japan. The investigation was triggered by a tip submitted to Japanese Customs. The FBI and Department of Justice have also joined the investigation. According to the Wall Street...

October 3, 2018

Blessings, Inc., of Tucson, Arizona, and two associated individuals, were sentenced following guilty pleas to pay over $1.2 million in fines, forfeiture and restitution for the illegal trafficking in sea cucumber from 2010-2012. Defendants admitted that they obtained the sea cucumber in Mexico in violation of Mexican law, imported the sea cucumber into the United States with false documentation, and illegally exported the sea cucumber to Asia.  Portions of the fines will be deposited in the Lacey Act Rewards Fund and the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Fund. USAO S.D. Cal.

Whistleblower Alleges Facebook Aided Wildlife Trafficking

Posted  04/12/18
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team According to a whistleblower, Facebook profited from the trafficking of endangered species and failed to stop criminal activity linking it to the illegal wildlife trade that allegedly took place on its platform. Facebook was displaying ads tied to unnamed “American corporations” on pages linked to traffickers known to trade in elephant ivory, rhino horn, bear claws, and tiger...

Thai Police Arrest Suspected Ring Leader of Wildlife Trafficking Syndicate

Posted  01/25/18
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Boonchai Bach, who is suspect of fueling Asia’s illegal wildlife trade for the better part of a decade, was arrested last week in connection with the smuggling of 14 rhino horns from Africa to Thailand. This arrest stemmed from the detention of a government official at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, along with a Chinese smuggler and a Vietnamese courier, transporting the...

September 18, 2017

Utah-based Young Living Essential Oils pleaded guilty to federal misdemeanor charges regarding its illegal trafficking of rosewood oil and spikenard oil in violation of the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act.  The Company was sentenced to a fine of $500,000, $135,000 in restitution, a community service payment of $125,000 for the conservation of protected species of plants used in essential oils, and a term of five years’ probation. DOJ

Smuggled King Cobras, Albino Turtles Intercepted by US Authorities

Posted  07/27/17
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team The United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California is handling the prosecution of 34-year-old Rodrigo Franco, who was arrested earlier this week on charges he illegally imported protected and dangerous animals into the United States in violation of federal anti-smuggling laws and the Endangered Species Act. The live animals, shipped from Hong Kong,...

October 22, 2015

Virginia-based hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators Inc. pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act through its illegal importation of hardwood flooring manufactured in China from timber illegally logged in far eastern Russia, in the habitat of the last remaining Siberian tigers and Amur leopards in the world.  Under the plea agreement, Lumber Liquidators will pay $13.15 million, the largest financial penalty ever for timber trafficking under the Lacey Act and one of the largest Lacey Act penalties ever.  DOJ

January 14, 2015

Florida-based auction house Elite Estate Buyers Inc. (doing business as Elite Decorative Arts) and the company’s president and owner, Christopher Hayes, pleaded guilty to an illegal wildlife trafficking and smuggling conspiracy in which the auction house sold rhinoceros horns and objects made from rhino horn, elephant ivory and coral that were smuggled from the US to China. Hayes and Elite admitted to helping smugglers traffic in endangered and protected species and falsifying records and shipping documents to avoid the scrutiny of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Customs and Border Protection. DOJ
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