Myrtle Beach Safari owner highlighted in ‘Tiger King’ accused of laundering over $500K

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 3:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2022 at 3:14 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The owner of Myrtle Beach Safari has been charged with federal money laundering crimes.

A federal criminal complaint for 62-year-old Doc Antle, who is also known for being in the Netflix show ‘Tiger King,’ was unsealed on Monday.

It shows that following his FBI arrest on Friday, he was charged with laundering of monetary instruments and money laundering conspiracy.

'Doc' Antle is in custody.
'Doc' Antle is in custody.(JRLDC)

RELATED COVERAGE | ‘Doc’ Antle, Myrtle Beach Safari owner, arrested by FBI

Andrew Sawyer, 52, who is Antle’s employee and business associate, is also charged in the case.

The complaint alleges that over the last four months, Antle and Sawyer laundered $505,000 in cash that they believed were the proceeds of an operation to smuggle illegal immigrants across the Mexican border into the United States.

Andrew Sawyer
Andrew Sawyer(Source: JRLDC)

Antle and Sawyer would launder the cash by providing checks from businesses that were controlled by the two, according to the criminal complaint.

The documents show that those checks falsely claimed they were used for construction work that was being done at the Myrtle Beach Safari, but in reality, the checks were a means to allow recipients to appear to have legitimate income.

In exchange, Antle and Sawyer received a 15% fee of any amount laundered, according to the criminal complaint.

Court documents show that Antle’s plan to conceal the cash was to inflate tourist numbers at the Myrtle Beach Safari. He also discussed that in the past he used bulk cash receipts to purchase animals for which he could not use checks, according to the criminal complaint.

Antle and Sawyer each face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on the charges if they are convicted.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek Shoemake and Amy Bower are prosecuting the case.

Antle has a preliminary hearing and bond hearing set for Thursday.

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