Federal charges filed against Calif. sushi restaurant owner, chef over alleged whale servingBy Raquel Maria Dillon, AP
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Sushi restaurant, chef charged over whale meat
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Federal prosecutors have filed charges against a sushi chef and a Santa Monica restaurant accused of serving illegal and endangered whale meat.
Typhoon Restaurant Inc., which owns The Hump restaurant, and 45-year-old Kiyoshiro Yamamoto of Culver City, were charged Wednesday with illegally selling an endangered species product, a misdemeanor.
Two undercover diners requested whale as part of a $600 “chef’s choice” meal. The women were working with producers of the Oscar-winning documentary, “The Cove,” to videotape the meal.
Court records say they pocketed a sample, and testing confirmed it was Sei whale meat.
An attorney for Typhoon, Gary Lincenberg, says the restaurant accepts responsibility and will agree to pay a fine. If convicted, the company could be fined $200,000.
Yamamoto faces a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, if convicted. His attorney, Mark Byrne, declined to comment.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have filed charges against the owner of a California restaurant and its sushi chef that marine mammal activists say served illegal whale meat.
Typhoon Restaurant Inc., which owns The Hump restaurant in Santa Monica, and Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, a 45-year-old Culver City resident, were charged Wednesday with illegally selling an endangered species product, a misdemeanor.
Two undercover diners requested whale as part of an $600 omakase (oh-mah-KAH’-say) or chef’s choice, meal. The young women were working with the producers of the Oscar-winning documentary, “The Cove,” to record the whole meal.
They pocketed a sample, and genetic testing confirmed that it was meat from the endangered Sei whale.
If convicted, Yamamoto could face a year in prison and a fine of $100,000. The company could be fined $200,000.
Tags: Animals, California, Mammals, Marine Animals, North America, Santa Monica, United States