Let me introduce you to the latest scumbag in the hunting world…
According to Field & Stream, two Florida hunters bought access to private hunting land in Ohio, but when they showed up to scout it, the landowner confronted them, saying that they were trespassing and he was not the seller of the lease.
That’s when it hit them across the face that they’d been scammed by Knox.
Knox was recently busted for ripping off at least 59 people, promising private hunts on land in Ohio that he didn’t own.
He wracked up $34,000 in 2019, through various pay methods, leading to a guilty plea of wire fraud. He now faces up to 20 years in prison.
Todd Kim, Justice Department Environment and Natural Resources Division assistant attorney said in a press release:
“The defendants scheme not only cheated dozens of innocent people but also put landowners and hunters in harm’s way.”
Kenneth Parker, Southern District of Ohio U.S. attorney added:
Unfortunately, individuals find themselves being victimized in so many different ways.
In this case, it was a fraudulent hunting lease scheme, which we shut down to ensure no other persons were taken advantage of by Knox.”
Knox reportedly charged hunters $400 to $5,000 per hunt, and shared pictures of his “former clients” with big bucks.
The two Florida hunters had already paid their deposit when they had the run-in with the landowner, but once they figured out what was going on, they set up a meeting with Knox to pay their remainder… and they brought the law with them.
Edwards Grace, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement assistant director, said:
“Protecting sustainable hunting of America’s wildlife resources is bedrock to our mission in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Investigating those who prey on individuals attempting to hunt lawfully by defrauding them is our trusted responsibility to the American people.”
Hunting leases have become a popular way for deer hunters who don’t have access to private land of their own, or good public land to harvest big bucks.
Ohio offers hunters access to private land through a partnership program that started in 2018, funded by the Farm Bill. The state pays enrolled landowners $2 to $30 per acre for two to three years if they allow hunters access to their property.