US antique dealer pleads guilty of illegal selling elephant ivory


Global Times

Date Published

An antique dealer in New York City pleaded guilty to selling illegal
elephant ivory as legal mammoth ivory on Thursday.

The Landmark Gallery in Midtown Manhattan admitted to violating New
York State’s ivory ban by illegally selling elephant ivory in excess
of 25,000 US dollars, announced the state’s Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC) in a press release on Thursday.

Upon entering the plea, the corporation was ordered to forfeit 47
seized ivory items with an estimated value of more than 250,000
dollars, pay to New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
150,000 dollars for New York State/New York City sales tax liability
owed for the period of March 1, 2010 to May 31, 2015, according to the

It also was ordered to donate 50,000 dollars to the conservation
organization, Wildlife Tomorrow Fund, for use in the organization’s
projects involving elephant population protection, anti-poaching
efforts, and land conservation, the release said.

DEC received a tip in April 2015 that Landmark Gallery was selling
hand-carved ivory pieces.

An investigation revealed that Landmark was advertising the pieces as
carved mammoth tusks.

“Restricting the market for ivory trade will help bring an end to the
slaughtering of elephants and sends a clear message that we will not
allow this immoral and criminal activity to continue in New York,”
said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Changes to New York State’s ivory law in 2014 made mammoth ivory
illegal to sell without a permit. However dealers were given a two
year sell-by period for liquidating existing stock before enforcement
would take effect.