Skokie Company Fined $150K For Exporting Elephant Ivory, Leathers

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Skokie company is paying the price for illegally exporting African elephant ivory.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports, Atlas Billiards Supplies admitted to using African elephant ivory and other wildlife parts to make their pool cue sticks. The company was fined $150,000.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

Atlas Billiards Supplies’ parent company, Atlas Fibre Company, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of violating the Federal Endangered Species Act, technically for not obtaining an export permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Atlas admitted to selling about 61 pieces of worked African ivory valued at more than $3,000 to a customer in Japan in October 2006, without a U.S. export permit.

In addition to elephant ivory, Atlas Billiards also used imported products, and leathers made from the hides of elephants, monitor lizards, kangaroos, ostriches, and sharks, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The company exported monitor lizard and African elephant leather valued at more than $11,700 about 53 times between September 2005 and October 2009, and also sent mother of pearl and abalone shell products and other leathers made from endangered species valued at more than $3,799, 37 times between January 2005 and October 2009.

Altogether, Atlas’ failure to obtain export permits and pay inspection fees led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to lose $12,273 in revenue, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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