Colorado

Oct 4, 2010 9:51 AM by Associated Press

Big cat sanctuary founder faces theft sentence

The co-founder of a big-cat sanctuary in El Paso County faces up to six years in prison after he admitted stealing from a volunteer who was mauled by a 400-pound Bengal tiger.

Nick Sculac, 60, of the Serenity Springs Wildlife Center pleaded guilty in July to bilking a volunteer for $40,500 after the volunteer followed an employee into an off-limits area and was bitten on the arm.

Sculac told the volunteer he owed the $40,500 for "his share" of a federal fine over the mauling. After the volunteer paid Sculac the money, the volunteer discovered that a fine was under investigation but hadn't been imposed.

The Gazette newspaper reports that Sculac faces two to six years in prison and a fine up to $500,000.

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