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Restaurant Owner, Chef Charged with Selling Endangered Whale  

By Jonathan Friedman
Lookout Staff

March 11, 2010 --Federal prosecutors yesterday filed charges of “illegal sale of a marine mammal product for an unauthorized process” against the owner and chef of The Hump, a popular sushi restaurant located at the Santa Monica Airport.

Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, a 45-year-old Culver City resident, is accused of providing endangered sei whale to customers who were actually part of an undercover operation. The restaurant owner named in the complaint is Typhoon Restaurant, Inc.

“Someone should not be able to walk into a restaurant and order a plate of an endangered species,” U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. wrote in a press release. “Federal law has a variety of provisions, including criminal statutes, intended to protect this planet’s threatened natural resources.”


Lawyers for the accused could not be reached for comment. The Los Angeles Times is reporting the restaurant owner’s attorney has admitted his client’s guilt and Typhoon Restaurant will pay a fine.

Meanwhile, since the restaurant is on City-owned property, Santa Monica officials could have a say in whether the restaurant could remain at its location. The City Attorney’s office is investigating the lease and the company’s business license. Council member Richard Bloom on Tuesday requested this be done on an expedited schedule so the issue can appear on the March 23 council agenda.

Restaurant Accused of Serving Whale(03 10 2010)


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