Jake Chait Of Beverly Hills Gallery & Auction House Indicted For Smuggling Millions In Rhino Horn

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Los Angeles-based Jake Chait, 34, was indicted for conspiring to facilitate the sale and exportation of 15 rhinoceros’ horns totaling $2.4 million. He was charged, last Wednesday, with one count of conspiracy in connection with the wildlife trafficking scheme in the Manhattan federal court.

The youngest son of Isadore M. Chait, an Asian art expert who founded I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers in Beverly Hills in 1969, Jake served as the Head of Acquisitions for the family owned and operated business.

According to the indictment, the scheme, which took place from 2008 to 2012, involved 15 horns worth multi-millions of dollars that Chait and others acquired, traded and sold to foreign customers. The guilty parties then helped the buyers export the precious rhino horns, void of any and all necessary paperwork, by hiding them in suitcases.

The prosecutors pointed to the rising demand for Rhino horn-made libation cups in Asia, as the main factor supporting the black market; which authorities in the United States have described as sadly “thriving.”

“Most species of rhinoceros are extinct or on the brink of extinction as a result,” the prosecution further surmised.

Jake Chait’s name may ring a bell for other reasons as well including a brief stint on Final Offer, a 2012 Discovery Channel reality TV show that featured sellers of memorabilia.

More importantly, Jake is the younger brother of Joseph Chait, who was convicted of a similar crime less than one year ago. The older of the unscrupulous siblings was sentenced in June 2016 to one year in prison for conspiring to smuggle at least $1 million in animal products including rhino horns and elephant ivory.

Though not accused of wrongdoing, I.M. Chait auction house was also involved in a 2015 case where authorities filed a civil forfeiture complaint seeking to take possession of a stolen dinosaur skull that an unknowing Nicholas Cage had purchased from them. The actor ultimately agreed to relinquish his rights to the rare item so it could be repatriated to Mongolia.

Please Report anything you think may be Rhino Horn Or Ivory to your local Authorities! TOGETHER, WE CAN END THE TRADE!

Source: Reuters
Photo Credit: The Telegraph

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