‘Tiger King’ star Jeff Lowe agrees to pay tax debt in suit
PAULS VALLEY, Okla. (AP) — Netflix’s “Tiger King” star Jeff Lowe has agreed to pay up to over $100,000 in delinquent state sales taxes, penalties and interest.
In June, the Oklahoma Tax Commission accused Lowe in a lawsuit of failing to turn over taxes collected on sales when he took over the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park from founder Joe Exotic in 2016.
Under the agreement, Lowe is making a $20,000 down payment and then $2,500 monthly payments to resolve the tax debt, The Oklahoman reported.
Garvin County District Judge Leah Edwards approved the settlement Sept. 18.
The total base taxes he owed for February 2016 through December 2017 was $69,487.92.
Lowe can ask the commission to waive the penalties and interest upon payment of all the base taxes but if the waiver is denied, he must complete payments.
Lowe blames Joe Exotic for the suit. “This is part of the shrapnel field of the mess that Joe Exotic left behind when he was embezzling funds from the park, misreporting his sales tax,” he said.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year-old sentence in federal prison for trying to to hire someone to kill Carole Baskin, who had tried to shut him down by accusing him and the Oklahoma zoo of abusing animals and selling big cat cubs.
Joe sought to intervene in the tax case to make claims against Lowe — claims that included defamation, invasion of privacy, unjust enrichment and breach of contract. The judge has not ruled yet on the intervention request, according to the online docket of the activity in the case.