The owner of a dog adoption facility in Austin, Texas, has been accused of using his dogs to defraud customers of more than $1 million.
Austin Animal Control Director Greg McManus was charged Tuesday with wire fraud and fraudulently obtaining a dog by false pretenses.
McManuses charges allege that he and his partners stole nearly $1.2 million from their customers, including money that was supposed to be used to pay for veterinary care.
McPartys charges include theft of more to cover the costs of veterinary care and lost wages.
Mcmanus’ attorneys said the charges were not related to the dogs themselves.
Austin police said they have not filed criminal charges against McManns.
He was placed on paid administrative leave, Austin police spokesman Sgt. Chris McPherson told Ars.
Austin animal control spokeswoman Natalie Dominguez told Ars that Austin Animal Services had not received a complaint about McManys.
Domingue said Austin Animal has been investigating the charges against the company and that it was working with McManuss to resolve the matter.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told Ars the charges are related to allegations that McManues was stealing money from his business.
The charges are “very serious,” Acevedos said, and the Austin Police Department has contacted the attorney representing the owner of the dog adoption company.
Austin is about 50 miles south of Dallas.
McPhersons attorney did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.
Austin has a large dog adoption population, and a few years ago Austin Animal adopted a small black Lab named Kiko.
Kiko’s owners are not believed to have been involved in the theft of the dogs.
McGuire’s attorney told Ars he had not seen any evidence that the dogs were stolen.
He said McManis’ charges against him were a result of a police investigation into theft and fraud.
McGhee’s attorney did say that McParties case was being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Austin.
McArcy said McGuises charges were unrelated to the dog-puppy rescue group that McGuires operates.
The group is run by former U.N. Ambassador Anne Patterson.
McQuinn is charged with wire, mail, and theft.
He also faces a charge of receiving stolen property.
McMannus and McManuys face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Austin law allows for a sentence of five years in jail if the accused is convicted of wire fraud, but no sentence is imposed if the theft is related to animal welfare.
The dog adoption business in Austin was listed as one of the most profitable in Texas.
McMartinus was a partner with McQuinsons son, Brian McManua, in the Austin-based dog adoption service, McQuinsson said.
McDonnas father is a former Texas Attorney General.
McMenus is also the founder of the Austin Animal Rescue Association, which was formed in 2010 by McMenis and McQuines partner, Mark McManums.
Austin Dog Rescue and Adoption said McQuindans business was sold to McMenions sister, Heather McMeniams, who has run the dog shelter since 2014.
McReynolds spokeswoman Natalie Lipps told Ars there were no new complaints about McMeniys activities related to Austin.
The dogs are not euthanized, Lipp said, because the shelter does not euthansize them.
McWhirks charges were filed in U.T. Davis Circuit Court.