In a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act lawsuit Feld Entertainment and the Ringling Brothers circus sued the Humane Society of the United States, its lawyers, and several other animal rights groups last week, according to the Center for Consumer Freedom. CCF is making the lawsuit available online at its newest website.

In its Feb. 16 lawsuit, Feld leveled bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice, and money laundering charges against HSUS and two of its corporate attorneys; three other animal rights groups; the Washington, DC law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal; and all three of that firm’s named partners.

On Dec. 30, 2009, Federal Judge Emmitt Sullivan ruled that these defendants collaborated to pay more than $190,000 to Tom Rider, a former Feld employee who was an elephant “barn helper” for two years in the late 1990s, in exchange for his impeached testimony against Feld in an earlier lawsuit—testimony Judge Sullivan declared “not credible” and disregarded in its entirety. That lawsuit was dismissed.

Feld also is suing Rider, and a nonprofit “Wildlife Advocacy Project” charity, claiming that Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal used it to funnel money from their plaintiff clients to Rider. These clients included the Fund for Animals, which merged with HSUS in 2004.

“The new HumaneWatch website is the only place the public will be able to read this lawsuit,” said CCF Director of Research David Martosko. “In a treble-damage lawsuit like this, a jury could actually do the humane thing and finally put HSUS out of business completely.”

Last week CCF launched www.HumaneWatch.org, an online watchdog project dedicated to analyzing HSUS’s activities and keeping the group honest. It includes a blog, an interactive document library, and a growing body of information about HSUS-related organizations and staff.

Source: Center For Consumer Freedom