Joseph Maldonado-Passage, a.k.a. Joe Exotic of the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King,” has filed a $94 million lawsuit from prison claiming that U.S. government agencies conspired to wrongfully put him behind bars.
According to Maldonado-Passage’s lawsuit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put the tiger, which he describes as a “generic animal,” on the endangered species list so that businesses like his could be targeted for closure.
He equates the decision to “stealing my property and promoting an animal rights agenda.”
Maldonado-Passage also says a government agent “knowingly accepted statements he knew were false, allowing his witnesses to lie under oath. Misleading a grand jury and not seeking the truth to further an animal rights agenda. False arrest, entrapment, false imprisonment, all contributing to my mother’s death.”
He is seeking $73,840,000 for loss of personal property and for his 18 years of work with tigers, as well as an additional $15 million for the role he claims all of this played in the death of his mother.
Maldonado-Passage, a former exotic animal keeper, was found guilty in 2019 of paying a hitman $3,000 to kill Carole Baskin, a longtime rival of his who runs a big cat sanctuary in Tampa, Florida. Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a multi-decade prison sentence for the attempted murder plot and for various animal rights crimes.
TheWrap has reached out to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for comment.
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