March 1, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Restaurant Owner Gets Probation In Whale Meat Case:

The parent company and owner of a Santa Monica restaurant were sentenced today to fines and probation for serving meat from the endangered Sei whale to undercover investigators in 2009 and 2010.

Typhoon Restaurant Inc. and owner Brian Vidor will jointly pay a $27,500 fine and will serve 18-month and 12-month terms of probation, respectively, according to U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer.

Both pleaded guilty in November in Los Angeles federal court to one count of unlawful sale of a marine mammal at the now-closed restaurant The Hump at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport.

As part of the plea, Vidor admitted he was aware his sushi chefs, who have previously pleaded guilty, were serving whale at the restaurant, and he allowed it.

The chefs pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor counts of conspiracy and the sale of marine mammals in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They are expected to be sentenced next month. The supplier of the whale meat, Ginichi Ohira, also has pleaded guilty and is set to be sentenced April 21.

Authorities launched an investigation into The Hump after producers behind the documentary “The Cove” secretly filmed whale meat being served at the restaurant.

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