While Tiger King "Joe Exotic" reportedly recovers from a rumored COVID-19 infection while awaiting trial on charges of murder for hire that could land him a lengthy stretch behind bars, a federal judge has granted Carole Baskin and her organizations, Big Car Rescue, control of the imprisoned impresario's former zoo property in Oklahoma, according to a Courthouse News report.
US District Judge Scott L Palk ruled that the Tampa-based Big Cat Rescue "has sufficiently traced funds to allow for the imposition of a constructive trust" under state law regarding the 16.4-acre Wynnewood property".
The property was formerly owned by Mr. Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage - aka "Joe Exotic" - who shot to international stardom following the release of the Netflix doc "Tiger King".
Of course, those who watched the documentary understand that part of its appeal stemmed from the fact that there were virtually no "good" actors, something the filmmakers did a masterful job of highlighting. After the documentary went live, police in Florida reportedly re-opened an investigation into the death of Baskin's late ex-husband, amid rumors that Baskin played a role in his disappearance.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit judgment that Baskin won against Exotic during the legal battle that motivated much of the drama chronicled by the documentary.
Part of the 11-page order reads: "Big Cat Rescue's constructive trust and equitable lien in and to the buildings shall survive any physical or title transfer of the building and shall follow any proceeds, except as to a good faith purchased for value."
BCR was also awarded possession of several cars and cabins on the property that formerly belonged to "Joe Exotic".
In 2019, an Oklahoma jury convicted Exotic of hiring a hitman to try and murder Baskin. He was convicted on two counts related to the murder-for-hire plot (which was exposed as a setup by the documentary filmmakers), eight counts related to violating the Lacy Act pertaining to falsifying wildlife records, and of violating the Endangered Species Act.