‘Tiger King’ star Doc Antle granted bond on money laundering charges

Bond has been set for the South Carolina animal trainer who gained fame in the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King,” accused of laundering more than half a million dollars.

On Monday, a federal judge in Florence, South Carolina, set a $250,000 secured bond for Antle, who was still listed as being held in jail as of Monday evening.

According to The Associated Press, Antle will be confined to his 50-acre-wildlife tropical preserve outside Myrtle Beach after his release, federal prosecutors said.

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Antle and Andrew Jon Sawyer, one of Antle’s employees at Myrtle Beach Safari, laundered $505,000 over a four-month period by doling out checks from businesses they controlled, receiving a 15% fee of the money that passed through their hands.

Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, 62, of Myrtle Beach, was arrested by the FBI on June 3, according to online booking records.

Antle owns the Myrtle Beach Safari and was featured in “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” a 2020 Netflix documentary miniseries that focused on tiger breeders in Florida and Oklahoma. In 2021, Netflix released “Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story,” a miniseries that featured witnesses’ claims of “abuse and intimidation,” according to IMDb.com.

Antle told WBTW-TV in December that the allegations made in the 2021 series were “absolutely false.”

In October 2020, Antle was indicted in Virginia on animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking charges, WYFF reported. Antle faces one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, and 13 additional misdemeanor charges relating to animal cruelty and the Endangered Species Act, according to People.

Three months later, Antle waived his right to appear in court, WBTW reported. His trial is set to begin on Oct. 31, according to the television station.

According to the AP, Antle has a history of recorded violations, going as far back as 1989, when he was fined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for abandoning deer and peacocks at his zoo in Virginia. Over the years, he has had more than 35 USDA violations for mistreating animals.

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