19 February 2013

East Africa: U.S. Antiques Dealer Sentenced for Rhino Horn Trafficking

A New York antiques dealer was sentenced to serve six months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the Lacey Act Reward Account and $18,000 to the Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund. He also forfeited four rhino head mounts, six black rhino horns, and numerous carved and partially carved real and fake rhino horns seized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

David Hausman was sentenced February 14 in Manhattan federal court for obstruction of justice and creating false records in connection with illegal rhinoceros horn trafficking.

In his July 2012 guilty plea, Hausman admitted that he committed these offenses while holding himself out to the Fish and Wildlife Service as an antiques expert who purportedly wanted to help the agency investigate rhinoceros horn trafficking. Hausman was arrested in February 2012 as part of Operation Crash, a nationwide crackdown on people involved in the black market trade of endangered rhinoceros horn.

"Mr. Hausman's blatant deception of officers conducting a federal investigation was illegal and reprehensible," said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. "He posed as someone who was protecting this endangered species when he was really obtaining and using inside information to further the illegal trade in black rhino horns. We will vigorously prosecute all those who violate the wildlife protection laws enacted by Congress to protect endangered species like the black rhinoceros from extinction."

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