California auctioneer pleads guilty to $1 million ivory, rhino horn smuggling - 2016-03-10
An executive with a Beverly Hills gallery and auction house has pleaded guilty of conspiring to smuggling at least $1 million in animal products that included rhino horn and elephant ivory, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Joseph Chait, 38, a senior auction administrator with I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers, could be sentenced to up to five years in prison on the wildlife smuggling charge, the U.S. Justice Department said.
He also faces a maximum prison term of five years after pleading guilty to violating a federal law that bans trade involving illegally gained wildlife, they said.