ANCHORAGE – A federal Grand Jury in Anchorage, Alaska returned an indictment on Friday, April 21, 2023, charging Michael Mikhail Beans of Saint Mary’s Alaska with two (2) felony counts for violations of the Lacey Act and nineteen (19) felony counts for wire fraud in connection with the sale of the illegal moose hunts.
From October of 2021 to the present Beans collected over $59,000 from hunting parties, over thirty hunters in total, for moose hunts to be conducted in Alaska in September of 2022 and September of 2023.
According to court documents, Beans, 34, was charged by the grand jury for Lacey Act violations for guiding two hunters for bull moose when not licensed as a Big Game Guide or Transporter by the State of Alaska. The Lacey Act makes it illegal to transport and illegally sold wildlife in interstate commerce.
Beans was also charged with wire fraud in connection with booking guided moose hunts, receiving over $59,000 in electronic payments from clients, and then canceling the hunts without providing a refund.
If convicted Beans faces up to five (5) year imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
An arraignment date has not been set. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska and Special Agent In-Charge Jeff Mihan made the announcement.
The investigation is being handled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Wildlife Troopers Investigations Unit.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ainsley McNerney and Steve Skrocki are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.