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The Tony Beets Moment On Gold Rush That Went Too Far

Discovery's "Gold Rush" is a look at modern-day mining expeditions — in other words, people who look for gold in remote locations and often harsh conditions. Out of every single eccentric figure in the show's roster of miners, it's hard to point out anyone who fits the classic Wild West trope of a tenacious, hirsute prospector better than Tony Beets. Of course, appearances can be deceiving. While Beets is always in search for more gold, Celebrity Net Worth posits that he's already found more than his fair share, to the point that his estimated net worth of $15 million makes him far and away the richest miner on "Gold Rush."

Still, getting rich in the mining industry is by no means an easy feat, and the chase for precious metal can easily involve some unsavory and dangerous moments that go too far. Tony Beets is no exception, and one of his missteps actually made it in the show. 

Officials weren't amused by Tony Beets' gasoline antics

Because mining isn't a particularly environmentally friendly activity, it has been noted that "Gold Rush" damages the environment in a number of ways. However, said ways are usually a byproduct of the industry, instead of active on-screen shenanigans. In 2014, Tony Beets made an exception with a "baptism by fire," in which his men poured a significant amount of gasoline in a dredge pond, then lighting it on fire as a stunt (via CBC News). After the episode aired in 2015, Beets was promptly charged for the incident under the Yukon Waters Act, and received a list of fines that combined to a hefty sum of $31,000. 

The dramatic footage shows Beets standing in front of the flames giving a short, rousing speech, but he was apparently somewhat less active in the case than the show implies. The incident took place after Beets half-heartedly greenlit — or, rather, didn't actively oppose — an underling's idea, even though the episode showed him being clearly happy about it. Both the worker, who was fined $1,725, and Beets fully owned up to the incident. "Since I am the man running the show, I guess I should have been a little bit more, and told him not to do it," Beets said. "However I didn't do that, so here you are in court, so take the fine. Next time, don't go there, It's kind of a joke gone bad, right?"