MIAMI, May 14 (UPI) -- A Florida federal judge has fined the owner of a luxury yacht $150,000 for decorating the big boat with allegedly smuggled exotic animal pelts, officials say.
The court also took away the pelts after the registered owner of the $26 million-dollar yacht, Ruzial Ltd., based in the Cayman Islands, pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act.
Federal court documents show Ruzial's director is Tamir Sapir, a Russian billionaire and collector of European ivory, The Miami Herald said.
Federal agents, in a routine check of the yacht at at its Port Everglades berth, found the remains of such rarities as zebra, African lion, elephant (hide and tusks), python, jaguar and more, the Herald said.
The captain could not identify the owner of the yacht, named Mystere, or "secrecy" in French.
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge William Dimitrouleas this week marked the end of a 17-month-long U.S. investigation, officials said.