'Tiger King': Why Cardi B Can't Start a GoFundMe for Joe Exotic

After watching the new Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, rapper Cardi B decided she wanted to help the show's imprisoned subject, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic. Sadly for Cardi, she would not be allowed to start a GoFundMe account for Maldonado-Passage, who was convicted of hiring someone to kill Carole Baskin. Cardi later said she was just joking, though.

"Bout to start a gofundme account for Joe. He shall be free," Cardi wrote on Saturday. She later said this was just a joke but still thought Maldonado-Passage got a bad deal. "Omg... I was just playing," Cardi wrote. "I do love him tho and he deff needed better representation .oooooooooooooooooo here Kitty Kitty."

After Cardi posted her tweet about wanting to help Maldonado-Passage, a GoFundMe account did sprout up in an effort to help him. The fund raised $100 before GoFundMe shut it down, reports TMZ. Sources told the site the fund was not related to Cardi and was launched by someone pretending to be her.

As TMZ notes, GoFundMe does not allow users to try raising funds for inmates already convicted of violent crimes. The company's terms of service notes that it can remove campaigns "that we deem, in our sole discretion, to be for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, serious disabilities or diseases, or financial crimes or crimes of deception."

Maldonado-Passage had a longstanding rivalry with Baskin, a big cat conservationist who runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida. In 2018, he was arrested for trying to hire a hitman, who turned out to be an FBI agent, to kill Baskin. Maldonado-Passage was convicted on two counts of murder-for-hire, nine violations of the Endangered Species Act and eight violations of the Lacey Act, a conservation act that bans wildlife that may have been illegally obtained from being possessed and sold. In January, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison and is now incarcerated in Grady County Jail in Oklahoma.

Days before the documentary aired, Maldonado-Passage filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the lead prosecutor in his case, a former business partner, a federal agent and others involved in his conviction, reports The Oklahoman. He is asking for $94 million in damages.

"If anyone knows a lawyer to take this case on my behalf for a percentage please message me," he wrote in a recent Facebook post from jail. "Thank you all for your kind words and emails."


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