Flashback: HSUS Faces a Racketeering Lawsuit

Our second "flashback" today is the story behind Feld Entertainment and the Ringling Brothers circus naming HSUS and two of its attorneys in a federal racketeering (RICO) lawsuit in February. (The case is still active and is working its way through the courts.)

Feb 21 2010

Press release: “Racketeering Lawsuit Fingers Humane Society of the United States”

Multi-Million Dollar Animal Rights Group Accused of Corruption; Lawsuit Available at www.HumaneWatch.org

Washington – In a landmark RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuit certain to have far-reaching implications for the animal rights movement, Feld Entertainment and the Ringling Brothers circus sued the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), its lawyers, and several other animal rights groups last week. The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) unearthed the lawsuit in federal court records today. CCF is making the lawsuit available online at its newest website, www.HumaneWatch.org….

In its February 16 lawsuit, Feld leveled bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice, and money laundering charges against HSUS and two of its corporate attorneys; three other animal rights groups; the Washington, DC law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal; and all three of that firm’s named partners.

On December 30, 2009, Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that these defendants collaborated to pay more than $190,000 to Mr. Tom Rider, a former Feld employee who was an elephant “barn helper” for two years in the late 1990s, in exchange for his impeached testimony against Feld in an earlier lawsuit—testimony Judge Sullivan declared “not credible” and disregarded in its entirety. That lawsuit was dismissed.

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