Quote Originally Posted by Vidyut View Post
Obviously there are distasteful things about this story - buying plants from the wild, "smuggling", etc.

But really, the article is bizarre. It sounds like growing nepenthes itself is illegal in the US - which is complete nonsense. Also "started buying more and more plants" sounds like almost everyone of us here. He spent more than he earned on plants, which is pretty stupid for a "smuggling" business.
This is a well-thought out response and I agree overall. It is my opinion that once the USFWS started investigating him they felt they couldn't let it go easily, as in just fining Mat, because they had too much time and money invested in the investigation. Also his lawyer was not on his side and if he had taken the legal advice given to him he would've almost certainly done prison time.