Beverly Hills Auctioneer Indicted For Smuggling Rhino Horns

BEVERLY HILLS—A Beverly Hills auctioneer who briefly starred in a 2012 reality show, has been charged with the conspiracy to smuggle 15 rhinoceros horns valued at more than $2 million, prosecutors indicated on Wednesday, February 22.

Jacob Chait, 34, is the head of accusations at I.M. Chait Gallery/Auctioneers and the youngest son of founder Isadore Chait. He appeared in court on February 21 in Manhattan, New York to face the charges in violation of the Lacey Act, a 1900 law that bans trafficking in illegal wildlife, and was indicted on Wednesday.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, ''As alleged, Jacob Chait trafficked in and smuggled rhinoceros horns, further threatening an already endangered species. Rhinoceros have no known predators other than humans, and yet, driven by the illegal trade in their horns, literally worth more than their weight in gold in the black market, rhinoceros are on their way to extinction. This Office, along with our partners at the Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will continue to combat the illegal trade of rhinoceros horns fueling the senseless poaching of this critically endangered animal.''