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HSUS Accused Of Corruption, Bribery, Fraud, Obstruction Of Justice, And Money Laundering

Washington, D.C. - -( 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. CCF is making the lawsuit available online at its newest website,

“America’s farmers, ranchers, hunters, fishermen, trappers, research scientists, fashion designers, and restaurateurs have seen for decades watched how the animal rights movement can behave like a mobbed-up racket,” said CCF Director of Research David Martosko.

“But it’s still shocking to see the evidence laid out on paper. In a treble-damage lawsuit like this, a jury could actually do the humane thing and finally put HSUS out of business completely.”

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.

Feld is suing:

  • The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS);
  • The Fund for Animals (which merged with HSUS in 2004);
  • Jonathan Lovvorn, an attorney employed by HSUS;
  • Kimberly Ockene, an attorney employed by HSUS;
  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA);
  • The Animal Welfare Institute;
  • The Animal Protection Institute (d/b/a/ Born Free USA);
  • Tom Rider (a discredited witness in a recently dismissed lawsuit against Feld, who a judge ruled was paid at least $190,000 for his testimony);
  • Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal (the outside law firm which handled that lawsuit against Feld);
  • Katherine Meyer (of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal);
  • Eric Glitzenstein (of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal);
  • Howard Crystal (of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal); and
  • The Wildlife Advocacy Project (a nonprofit organization founded and managed by Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, which was used as a pass-through vehicle to allow animal rights groups to pay Tom Rider for his discredited testimony against Feld).

On December 30, 2009, Federal Judge Emmitt 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.

Feld is also suing Mr. Rider, and a nonprofit “Wildlife Advocacy Project” charity, claiming that Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal used it to funnel money from their plaintiff clients to Mr. Rider. These clients included the Fund for Animals, which merged with HSUS in 2004.

“The new HumaneWatch website is the only place the public will be able to read this lawsuit,” Martosko added. “We’re publishing a treasure trove of information about the Humane Society of the United States, including lots of surprising documents that HSUS would rather remain hidden from its contributors.”

Last week CCF launched, an online watchdog project dedicated to analyzing HSUS’s activities and keeping the group honest. It includes a blog, an interactive document library, and a growing body of information about HSUS-related organizations and staff.

To read this explosive federal racketeering lawsuit, visit To arrange an interview, call Allison Miller at 202-463-7112

The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit watchdog organization that informs the public about the activities of tax-exempt activist groups. It is supported by American consumers, business organizations, and foundations.

About: is a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit watchdog group supported by a unique combination of consumers and American businesses. Visit:

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