The owner of Big Cat Rescue, 58, was granted the rights to the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, on Monday, June 1, after a judge ruled that the property was fraudulently transferred to Exotic’s mother, Shirley M. Schreibvogel.
The ruling comes after a complaint was filed in 2016 by Big Cat Rescue, suing Joe (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage) for the false transfer.
“Schreibvogel later admitted under oath that the zoo land was transferred to her by Joe Maldonado to remove it from the reach of creditors, including BCR, should BCR win its Florida lawsuit,” the complaint states.
According to documents from Courthouse News Service, Schreibvogel confessed “the zoo land was fraudulently transferred to her by Joe Maldonado in 2011 to avoid his creditors” in 2015.
The zoo is currently under the operation of the country singer’s former business partner Jeff Lowe. The businessman has 120 days to vacate the premise with all of his animals, the court ruling states.
The Tiger King, 57, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for his role in the murder-to-hire plot of his archenemies. In September 2018, the former presidential candidate was arrested after paying a hitman to take out Baskin, in addition to various animal abuse charges. He was found guilty of 21 counts, including two counts of murder-for-hire, illegally selling and breeding exotic animals and selling or attempting to sell tigers without a permit. In April 2019, Maldonado-Passage was found guilty and later sentenced in January 2020.
Despite being incarcerated, the husband to Dillon Passage still maintains his innocence. From prison, he filed a federal lawsuit against the FBI on March 17. “This lawsuit has been filed in the name of justice, the Trump Administration must be made aware of the overreach, perjury, abuse of power and the failure to uphold the oath of their position which is truth and justice for all,” his statement reads.
While Baskin may have won the rights to Exotic’s precious zoo, their story is far from over.
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