He trafficked in illegal walrus ivory and did not file income tax returns, government alleges.
An Alaska antiques shop owner has been charged with illegally buying and selling walrus ivory and failing to report income to the IRS.
Walter Earl, 75, of Anchorage, Alaska, allegedly trafficked in illegal walrus ivory.
On three separate occasions in 2017, the Justice Department alleges, Earl knowingly violated the Lacey Act by illegally purchasing and selling walrus ivory head mounts (skull and ivory tusks). Earl allegedly purchased more than 50 walrus tusks that he intended to sell.
Earl then tried to conceal the illegal nature of his activities by falsifying documents and lying to purchasers about the ivory’s source.
The government’s investigation also revealed that Earl did not file individual income tax returns for the years 2013 through 2017. The gross income Earl received included income from his business, which totaled $679,245 for the years 2013 through 2017.
To avoid creating records of revenue and income, Earl allegedly committed acts of evasion to include structuring transactions at various financial institutions to avoid reporting requirements, instructing his employees not to report the income they earned, keeping inadequate business records, and use of cash.
If convicted, Earl faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.