NM businessman accused of selling elephant tusks

May 25, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Santa Fe businessman is in trouble with federal authorities for allegedly selling two African elephant tusks.

The U.S. Department of Justice says a grand jury in Pensacola, Fla., indicted Charles Kokesh [auth] this week on three counts, including violating the Endangered Species Act and making a false statement.

Officials say Kokesh legally imported a sport-hunted African elephant trophy mount from Namibia, but then illegally sold the two tusks to a buyer in Florida for $8,100.

This is just the latest legal trouble for Kokesh. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports ( that he is being sued for defaulting on a $4.3 million debt on his Santa Fe home.

He’s also negotiating with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has accused him of misappropriating $45 million from investors during his days as a venture capitalist.

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