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Tony Ortega: Isadore Chait sold a stolen dinosaur skull to Nicolas Cage

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Actor Nicolas Cage returns stolen dinosaur skull he bought | Reuters

    Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage has agreed to turn over a rare stolen dinosaur skull he bought for $276,000 to U.S. authorities so it can be returned to the Mongolian government.

    The office of Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, filed a civil forfeiture complaint last week to take possession of the Tyrannosaurus bataar skull, which will be repatriated to Mongolia.

    The lawsuit did not specifically name Cage as the owner, but Cage's publicist confirmed that the actor bought the skull in March 2007 from a Beverly Hills gallery, I.M. Chait.

    The "National Treasure" actor is not accused of wrongdoing, and authorities said he voluntarily agreed to turn over the skull after learning of the circumstances.

    Alex Schack, a publicist for Cage, said in an email that the actor received a certificate of authenticity from the gallery and was first contacted by U.S. authorities in July 2014, when the Department of Homeland Security informed him that the skull might have been stolen.

    Following a determination by investigators that the skull in fact had been taken illegally from Mongolia, Cage agreed to hand it over, Schack said.

    Cage outbid fellow movie star Leonardo DiCaprio for the skull, according to prior news reports.

    The I.M. Chait gallery had previously purchased and sold an illegally smuggled dinosaur skeleton from convicted paleontologist Eric Prokopi, whom Bharara called a "one-man black market in prehistoric fossils."

    The Chait gallery has not been accused of wrongdoing. A representative did not return a request for comment on Monday.

    It was unclear whether the Nicolas Cage skull was specifically connected to Prokopi, who pleaded guilty in December 2012 to smuggling a Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton out of Mongolia's Gobi desert and was later sentenced to three months in prison. As part of his guilty plea, Prokopi helped prosecutors recover at least 17 other fossils.

    Continued here:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-nicolascage-dinosaur-idUSKBN0U42MS20151222

    The Scientologist who sold a hot dinosaur skull to Nicolas Cage

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, December 22, 2015

    By now you’ve probably heard the news that actor Nicolas Cage is giving back to the nation of Mongolia a stolen Tyrannosaurus bataar skull he bought at an auction in 2007. It’s the latest shoe to drop after a notorious broker, Eric Prokopi, pleaded guilty in 2012 to illegally importing fossils from Mongolia and China.

    What you probably don’t know is that the guy who sold Cage the hot Prokopi skull was Isadore M. Chait, an OT 8 Scientologist who has participated in the church’s notorious “Fair Game” retaliation schemes. We have some fun video of Chait for you to consider in a moment. But besides being an ardent, high-ranking Scientologist, Izzy Chait is also a renowned Beverly Hills art dealer, specializing in Asian art, who several years ago also began carrying dinosaur fossils and other natural history items. (At his bio posted at his website, you can see what an impressive guy he is. Somehow, however, he left out of it that he’s a master of matter, energy, space, and time as a Scientology Operating Thetan Level Eight.)

    About the sale of the skull, let’s establish some facts, because we’re seeing some bad information about it in news reports. The auction was held on March 25, 2007 and was Chait’s first ever held in New York City, simulcast to his gallery in Beverly Hills.

    <snipped>

    Cage ended up battling with fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio over the specimen before finally landing it at $276,000.

    And note where Chait claimed the skull was from: “Central Asia.” As this lengthy profile of Prokopi by Paige Williams in the New Yorker explains, that’s how dealers often describe items from Mongolia and China, knowing that it’s illegal to sell fossils from those countries. But the Chait gallery clearly knew where it was actually from — the Nemegt Formation, which is in Mongolia.

    Chait’s then-director of natural history sales, David Herskowitz, has admitted that the skull came from Prokopi. After Prokopi pleaded guilty to illegal importing, he was sentenced to three months in federal prison.

    As a cute aside, the Williams profile of Prokopi says that the fossil hunter and his wife were so thrilled over the sale to Cage, their celebration that night resulted in, nine months later, a son.

    So Cage is giving the skull back, and according to Reuters, Cage and Chait are not facing charges of any kind, even though, Reuters pointed out, Chait had previously purchased and sold a stolen Prokopi dinosaur skeleton.

    What, a Scientologist involved in the buying and selling of stolen goods? Say it isn’t so. Scientologists claim to be the most ethical people on the planet.

    Chait is also known for being one of the most loyal Scientologists in the Los Angeles area. And in 2011, he helped the church out with one of its operations to ambush Mark “Marty” Rathbun at the Los Angeles International Airport. (Yes, it’s happened more than once.)

    The full article is here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2015/12/22/the-scientologist-who-sold-a-hot-dinosaur-skull-to-nicolas-cage/

    Chait is also mentioned here:

    Isadore Chait writes out a check

    Isadore Chait pays Kendrick Moxon $1,000 for a charity set up by Robert Cipriano, a man selected by Moxon to destroy his arch enemy Graham Berry.

    https://whyweprotest.net/threads/isadore-chait-writes-out-a-check.107171/
    • Like Like x 5
  2. DeathHamster Member

    "You might think you love dinosaur poop, but there's nobody more excited about jurassic fecal matter than auctioneer I.M. Chait.

    OK, the company might just be excited that they have six fossilized specimens that will go for $4,000-to-10,000 when they hit the auction block"



    Check with Mongolia, that might be hot shit.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Quentinanon Member

    I met this guy and his wife more than two decades ago and they both came across as sleazy, crooked hucksters. I guess scientology has not helped them with that, but rather, facilitated that behaviour. "Mere WOG law."
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  5. RightOn Member

    Hope they nail Izzy AND his wife who are OSA helpers.
    Raciest bastards too
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Quentinanon Member

    When they aren't out hustling stolen and smuggled antiquities, Izzy and Mary Ann serve as osabots around Los Angeles.
    They have a very high sense of entitlement. I remember Mary Ann bawing about how the LAPD gives them parking tickets when their meters expire around the LA scn complex and they did it just to be mean. A ridiculous and ironic statement considering the criminal stuff they have gotten away with in their "business".
    • Like Like x 1
  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Beverly Hills auctioneer sentenced to one year behind bars, $10G fine for smuggling elephant ivory, rhinoceros horns, coral

    A Beverly Hills auctioneer was sentenced to one year and one day in federal lockup — and hit with a $10,000 fine — for conspiring to smuggle $1 million worth of products made from wildlife such as rhinoceros and elephants, as well as coral, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

    Joseph Chait, of the tony I.M. Chait Gallery, copped to two smuggling counts in Manhattan federal court on March 9.

    According to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office, the 38-year-old "personally falsified customs forms by stating that rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory items were made of bone, wood, or plastic" to traffic them.

    <snipped>

    During public court proceedings, Chait's lawyer, Judith Germano, asked the court to take into account what she described as the physical and mental abuse he sustained during his upbringing in the Church of Scientology.

    Germano also asked the court to take into account the fact that he admitted to wrongdoing and cooperated with the government.

    "I thank the court for recognizing the special factors in this case that supported a reduced sentence," Germano told the Daily News.

    The gallery declined to comment.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/cri...er-sentenced-smuggling-bust-article-1.2684300
    • Like Like x 2
  8. RightOn Member

    "During public court proceedings, Chait's lawyer, Judith Germano, asked the court to take into account what she described as the physical and mental abuse he sustained during his upbringing in the Church of Scientology."
    WAT? so he is out? Is he Izzy's son? How did Izzy get out of jail time?
    • Like Like x 1
  9. RightOn Member

    WOW, he must have sold a lot of rhino horn! (asshole)
    OTIII?


    Joey Chait in Scientology's Published Service Completion Lists

    The following 47 individual completions for Joey Chait appear in official Scientology publications:
    Joey Chait KEY TO LIFE Celebrity 248 1991-10-01
    Joey Chait LEVEL I Celebrity 262 1993-02-01
    Joey S. Chait ABILITY CONGRESS COURSE Freewinds 10 1993-03-01
    Joey Chait LEVEL 2 Celebrity 264 1993-05-01
    Joey Chait LEVEL 3 Celebrity 264 1993-05-01
    Joey Chait LIFE ORIENTATION COURSE Celebrity 264 1993-05-01
    Joey Chait ARC STRAIGHTWIRE Celebrity 264 1993-05-01
    Joey Chait LEVEL 4 Celebrity 268 1993-09-01
    Joey Chait ASTHMA/ALLERGY RUNDOWN AUDITOR COURSE Celebrity 268 1993-09-01
    Joey Chait GRADE 0 Celebrity 268 1993-09-01
    Joey Chait SCIENTOLOGY DRUG RUNDOWN CO-AUDIT COURSE Celebrity 270 1993-11-01
    Joey Chait NEW ERA DIANETICS COURSE Celebrity 272 1993-12-01
    Joey Chait CLASS IV C/S COURSE Celebrity 272 1993-12-01
    Joey Chait CLASS IV INTERNSHIP Celebrity 272 1993-12-01
    Joey Chait CLASS IV C/S INTERNSHIP Celebrity 272 1993-12-01
    Joey Chait HANDLING FEAR OF PEOPLE AUDITOR COURSE Celebrity 272 1993-12-01
    Joey Chait END OF ENDLESS INT RUNDOWN Celebrity 274 1994-03-01
    Joey Chait FALSE PURPOSE RUNDOWN LISTS Celebrity 288 1995-09-01
    Joey Chait CLASS V C/S INTERNSHIP Celebrity 286 1995-11-01
    Joey Chait GRADE II Celebrity 286 1995-11-01
    Joey Chait GRADE IV Celebrity 286 1995-11-01
    Joey Chait GRADUATE V AUDITOR COURSE Celebrity 290 1996-02-01
    Joey Chait CLASS V (NED) C/S INTERNSHIP Celebrity 290 1996-02-01
    Joey Chait STUDENT BOOSTER RUNDOWN AUDITOR COURSE Celebrity 290 1996-02-01
    Joey Chait VITAL INFORMATION RUNDOWN AUDITOR COURSE Celebrity 290 1996-02-01
    Joey Chait PAIN Celebrity 290 1996-02-01
    Joey Chait EST REPAIR RUNDOWN AUDITOR COURSE Celebrity 290 1996-02-01
    Joey Chait PURIFICATION RUNDOWN C/S COURSE Celebrity 292 1996-04-01
    Joey Chait STAFF STATUS II Celebrity 292 1996-04-01
    Joey Chait CLEAR Advance 128 1996-10-28
    Joey Chait SUNSHINE RUNDOWN Advance 128 1996-10-28
    Joey Chait SOLO ONE Advance 128 1996-10-28
    Joey Chait OT PREPARATIONS Advance 131 1997-07-07
    Joey Chait OT ELIGIBILITY Advance 131 1997-07-07
    Joey Chait SOLO CERTAINTY COURSE Advance 131 1997-07-07
    Joey Chait NEW HUBBARD SOLO AUDITOR COURSE, PART II Advance 131 1997-07-07
    Joey Chait NEW OT I Advance 132 1997-08-29
    Joey Chait OT II Advance 132 1997-08-29
    Joey Chait OT III Source 118 1998-08-01
    Joey Chait HUBBARD PROFESSIONAL COURSE SUPERVISOR COURSE Auditor 278 1999-01-01
    Joey Chait SCIENTOLOGY ETHICS SPECIALIST COURSE Auditor 292 2001-02-01
    Joey Chait CLASS IV CERTAINTY Auditor 297 2001-12-01
    Joey Chait FALSE PURPOSE RD SECOND DYNAMIC FORM Source 138 2002-06-01
    Joey Chait LEVEL C Auditor 305 2003-02-01
    Joey Chait LEVEL B Auditor 307 2003-04-01
    Joey Chait LEVEL C Auditor 317 2004-05-01
    Joey Chait LEVEL D Auditor 324 2005-01-01
    • Like Like x 1
  10. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Hmm. 14 years of courses, from (roughly) ages 13 to 27.

  11. wow:

  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Joey Chait’s sentencing memo: Abused in Scientology’s Sea Org and in fear of wealthy dad

    By Tony Ortega, July 18, 2016

    Quote:

    Earlier this month, Joey Chait, 38, was sentenced by a New York federal court to a year in prison for conspiring to smuggle art objects made of rhino horn, ivory, and coral. Joey was in the employ of his father Isadore Chait, whose eponymous I.M. Chait Gallery in Beverly Hills is one of the best known auction houses for Asian art in the world. Izzy Chait, for his part, is also well known to Scientology watchers, who remember his bizarre 2011 appearance along with the “Squirrel Busters” at Los Angeles International Airport in an attempt to unnerve former Scientology official Marty Rathbun.

    There was even some precedence for the Chait Gallery being associated with the illegal sale of art objects: Izzy Chait, in 2007, sold a Mongolian Tyrannosaurus bataar skull to actor Nicolas Cage, and after the skull’s provenance was uncovered, Cage had to return it to the Mongolian government last year.

    It seemed a simple story. Scientologist son of a somewhat unhinged wealthy and well known church figure had traded in goods that fuel the slaughter of endangered rhinos and other animals. Joey got little sympathy on the various Internet forums, and rightly so.

    But we did notice something interesting about the government’s sentencing memorandum that was made public when Joey was given twelve months and a day in prison by Judge J. Paul Oetken. Prosecutors, who were asking that Joey be put away for 2.5 to 3 years, made several references to a sentencing memorandum prepared by Joey’s attorney, Judith H. Germano, which apparently had something to say about Joey’s upbringing in Scientology and his relationship with his father.

    That document, by Germano, was not included in the court file when Joey was sentenced. But now, we have it, and we think you’re going to find it pretty interesting.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/07/18/jo...entologys-sea-org-and-in-fear-of-wealthy-dad/
    • Like Like x 1
  13. RightOn Member

    Izzy Chait's racist remark at 4:03
    Save this vid before it disappears.
    Izzy makes me sick with his dandruff covered shirt and his scruffy face. With his wife MaryAnn = ICK
    For any noobs who never say Izzy trying to talk Marty into going back to the cult with John Allender taping the whole thing.
    ALL nuts!
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Quentinanon Member

    Joey Chait SCIENTOLOGY ETHICS SPECIALIST COURSE Auditor 292 2001-02-01

    Convicted felon and scientology auditor.
    Izzy also completed the Ethics Specialist Course.
    Another example of irony in scientology.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. RightOn Member

    AND Joey was OTIII
  16. Malory Member

    I feel sorry for the guy because he was screwed over by abusive parents and then screwed again by the justice system. The Feds wanted someone doing jail time to justify the expense of the operation and set on Joey because daddy wasn't able to be sent down.
    Joey's a victim, brainwashed from birth and kept as a slave all his life and now the people who are supposed to serve justice are throwing him under the bus. Lengthy probation and supervision would have been a better option. If anyone needs to be looking at the inside of a cell, it's his mother for child abuse.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Don't worry, Karen#1 is helping him:

    Karen#1
    [IMG]
    Gold Meritorious Patron[IMG]
    [IMG]

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    2,228


    [IMG] Re: Scientology member forced to endure ‘therapy’ to ‘fix’ homosexual tendencies

    Tony Ortega updates ups on the tragic story of the millionaire "OT 8s" Izzy and Mary-Ann Chait of Beverly Hills.
    IMPORTANT READ
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/07/18/joe...f-wealthy-dad/
    It is a tragic story.
    Good journalism Tony.[IMG]
    I was a friend to the Chaits for decades.
    I attended all 3 boys bar mitzvahs and watched them grow up from kids to young men.
    Izzy put on HUGE parties with 5 star menus in Beverly Hills in Millionaire style.
    Izzie and Marty-Ann gave millions and millions and millions to the Cult.
    But it was protested. Many a time they confided how relentless the Cult
    was and no matter how many millions previously donated, it was never enough.
    MORE money was demanded.
    Both did every spiritual action up to OT VIII.
    BUT
    Instead of becoming a super human being, or at least a more healthy human being
    Izzie gets a stroke.
    Auditors have been sent to his home, after all he was a mega-donor.

    He kicks them out refusing any more Scientology techniques.
    Mary-Ann is being pampered at AOLA (Advanced Org Los Angeles) where she gets almost daily auditing currently.
    I wrote to the Judge on behalf of Joey.
    I was on fire and I made it a leather bound edition.
    I told the judge what happened when born into it all with no other life and especially covered the hazing of homophobia.
    So after doing all the levels and millions donated, Izzy the OT VIII gets a stroke and wants no more Scientology counseling.
    A true testament of a Scientology Inc story.


    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthre...l-tendencies&p=1107472&viewfull=1#post1107472
  18. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Why work when you can just chait?
  19. 999

    [IMG]
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    More federal charges for Scientology family that sold rhino horn products

    By Tony Ortega, February 25, 2017

    Quote:

    Last July, we told you about the odd way Scientology had become an issue in a criminal case involving the illegal trafficking of art made of rhino horn, ivory, and coral.

    At that time, Joey Chait had been sentenced to a year in federal prison for falsifying sales slips and otherwise aiding in the illegal sale of prohibited items that had been sold through his father Izzy Chait’s famous Beverly Hills auction house.

    What caught our interest was that Joey Chait’s attorney, Judith Germano, had tried to convince the court that Joey had experienced significant abuse growing up in a Scientology family and working in its harsh “Sea Organization” and then for his father, who was really making the decisions about what items to sell. The Chait gallery had been caught selling objects made of rhino horn in a federal sting, but by the time charges could be brought, Izzy Chait had suffered brain damage during a heart attack and was mostly incapacitated. Charges were brought against Joey instead, but his attorney Germano’s sentencing memorandum seemed to influence federal Judge J. Paul Oetken, who disregarded prosecutors’ request for a 3-year sentence and instead gave Joey twelve months and a day.

    Now, we’ve learned that Joey’s younger brother, Jacob Chait, 34, has also been charged with selling rhino horn and faces five years in prison. According to the US Attorney’s office in New York:

    From approximately 2009 to 2012, Chait and his co-conspirators purchased rhinoceros horns and taxidermy mounts in the U.S. and sought to sell them to foreign buyers in private deals, including in at least eight separate deals or attempted deals involving 15 rhinoceros horns worth an estimated $2.4 million. This included one alleged incident in which Chait personally smuggled two endangered black rhino horns to China in his luggage. Rhinoceros horn is worth more per pound than gold due to the high demand in Asia and increasing scarcity of supply.

    That sounds to us to be a little more serious than the allegations that had been leveled at Jake’s brother, Joey. And adding to interest in this case is that in 2012, Jake co-starred in a short-lived Discovery Channel reality series, Final Offer, that had Jake and his co-hosts buying and selling unique art and collectible items.

    Will Scientology become an issue in Jake Chait’s prosecution, as it did in his brother Joey’s? We don’t know yet.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2017/02/25/mo...ntology-family-that-sold-rhino-horn-products/
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here's a comment that was posted below Ortega's article today. Quote:

    Paulette Cooper Noble2 hours ago

    Why rhino horns? Tony wrote that the ... "15 rhinoceros horns worth an estimated $2.4 million ... worth more per pound than gold."

    As I explained in a book that's coming out soon which I just co-authored about an animal activist (title: "Barking up the Right Tree") "Rhino horns are falsely believed to have medicinal properties, supposedly curing everything from cancer to rheumatism to hangovers. Of course, that’s nonsense."

  22. OSA staffers who have to monitor and "handle" PR gaffes their members commit (almost by default, due to that being the Hubbard way of operating, default self-caused gaffes and hypocrasy) would be so helpful were they to newly defect and do some co-interviewing with other ex OSA Int staffers, for history posterity what their lives and "handling" experiences have been during their OSA careers.

    Cult PR People "Handler" Memoirs: The Losing Battle Being PR Handlers for Scientology
  23. Impressive collecting of Joey's tech training and progress on the Bridge. That he got up to the Briefing Course Level D puts his mentality in a full blown Hubbard follower, very impressive progress, and not just some "worker" of the Sea Org with little "tech" training, but Joey's done the really LONG HAUL tech training of the Briefing Course. This changes my view of his mentality, sadly.

    All that progress and training, adds up to a LOT to unwind from.

    It's amazing that he's got a lawyer who reframed Joey's mindset to the degree that I've read Joey's lawyer points a little blame back to the Sea Org mentality and mindset that Joey's Sea Org career imposed on Joey, contributing to his overall pliable rationale to do illegal things for his dad's business.

    This long list of Scientology indoctrination steps (training and auditing) means a whole boatload of "brainwashing" to use a popular term.

    A lot to unwind from, for anyone who devoted that much time to Hubbard's "services".

    Thankyou!
  24. The Internet Member

    Under Mao, the Chinese government created "Traditional Chinese Medicine" --a bunch of placebos "barefoot doctors" could use when far from clinics with resources. These placebos, like acupuncture, were supposed to be ancient wisdom. But derp, nobody had fine steel needles a couple hundred years ago. Back then they had lances for blood letting, just like doctors in Europe. Those things are dangerous. So the Chinese authorities retconned that history of poking people with sharp objects to mean poking with very fine needles.

    In the 1950s when China was closed, a bunch of potions made from animal parts didn't threaten to drive rare species into extinction. But that's all changed.

    The Chinese government needs to come clean with this hoax right away. Because the poor rhinos and a lot of other stuff.

    There are good discussions about TCM on Sciencebasedmedicine.org that Paulette might find interesting.
    • Like Like x 1
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Graham moved $1m worth of elephant ivory around the world from his Sydney terrace

    By Rachel Olding, Illawarra Mercury

    Quote:

    From his multimillion-dollar Woollahra terrace, Graham Chen sold Asian art and antiquities that often went under the hammer for more than $100,000.

    Porcelain vases, gilt bronze Sino-Tibetan statues and white jade figurines attracted eye-watering bids.

    But United States authorities say that Chen was running a "complex, international scheme" in the background, one that allowed almost $1 million in elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn and coral to be trafficked around the world, including two endangered black rhinoceros heads secretly delivered to China in a suitcase by a Scientologist reality TV star.

    Chen, a wealthy antiques dealer running businesses in China and Australia, is now facing a long sentence in a US federal prison after pleading guilty to illegally smuggling dozens of protected wildlife items from the US.

    His case is part of an underground trade in wildlife items that is thriving in Australia and, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, driven by a growing middle class in China and other Asian countries, where ivory and rhino products are sought after for their purported medicinal benefits and as symbols of status or investment vehicles.

    In some countries, rhino horns are worth more that gold while, in Australia, 2409 ivory items were up for sale in major auction houses over nine months last year, an IFAW investigation found.

    "Any commercial value you put on these products sends a green light to poachers that are very active in Africa that there is a market," IFAW's Oceania regional director Rebecca Keeble said. "They will go to extraordinary lengths to supply the market and Australia is not immune from contributing to that."

    Chen, also known as Guan Zong Cheng, runs a business and property empire with his wife, Lynn Wang, that includes a florist at Sydney Airport, a collective of Chinese art dealers and Graham's Auction, which sells antiques to the world from the Woollahra terrace bought under Ms Wang's name in 2015.

    A joint factual statement presented in a Boston court said Chen recruited a college graduate, Jin Jie Yang, who travelled to the US several times and bought almost $1 million in items from auction houses in California, Florida, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    Emails reveal how Chen subverted authorities for six years by paying commission to the owner of a suburban United States Postal store in Concord, Massachusetts, Carla Marsh, who shipped the items to Hong Kong with export documents that stated they were non-wildlife items like porcelain, wood or plastic figurines.

    In 2012, after Chen had wired $65,000 to buy a rhinoceros horn libation cup in New York, Yang delivered it to Marsh, who packed it inside a vase and shipped it without permits required under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). On another occasion in 2014, she shipped an ivory carving worth $13,000 with an export notice saying it was a $50 wooden statue.

    In one instance, Chen emailed Marsh to ask: "Do you remember the large rhino head? Can you contact with the owner? If you can offer me some useful information, I will pay you commission".

    She replied that the auction house was not playing ball: "I followed that all the way to the end, especially when it came up for sale again. The owner had been given very strict instructions by the Fish & Wildlife people that the rhino head could not be sold to anyone outside the state of Michigan."

    A year earlier, Chen purchased three endangered black rhinoceros heads, costing $112,000 each, from Beverly Hills auction house I.M. Chait Gallery, founded by famous Scientologist and singer Izzy Chait.

    Chait's son Jacob, the head of acquisitions and a one-time reality TV star, personally delivered two to China stuffed in his suitcase.

    He was charged in February with trafficking 15 rhinoceros horns worth $3.2 million. His older brother, Joey, was sentenced to prison last year for similar offences and reportedly argued in court that his offending was triggered by significant abuse growing up in a Scientology family and working in its infamous Sea Org.

    Last year, possibly tipped off by the Chait case, Chen was arrested as he arrived in Australia on a flight from China. He was extradited to the US and is in prison awaiting sentencing in a Boston court on December 13.

    Continued at http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/...ory-around-the-world-from-his-sydney-terrace/
    • Like Like x 1
  26. DeathHamster Member

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