January 25, 2016

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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