Remember the LA sushi scandal involving a chef who served
up endangered Sei whale
meat at The Hump, a once-popular restaurant next to the Santa Monica Airport? It was a sting
set up in 2009 by one of the activist-producers of the movie The Cove
, and it worked.
Three years later, the US Attorney's office in LA today announced that a federal grand jury has indicted the parent company of the now-closed venue, and two of its chefs. Typhoon Restaurant Inc. and sushi chefs Kiyoshiro Yamamoto and Susumu Ueda are named in the nine-count indictment.
If convicted and given the maximum sentence, 48-year-old Yamamoto could end up behind bars for up to 67 years, which would effectively be a life sentence. 39-year-old Ueda could face up to 10 years. The parent company, Typhoon, which continues to operate another popular restaurant next door to the Hump's former site, could be fined up to $1.2 million.
The indictments include selling sei whale meat, engaging in conspiracy to import and sell the endangered mammal's meat, and lying to federal investigators. From the LA Times
Yamamoto, 48, and Ueda, 39, allegedly ordered the whale meat from Ginichi Ohira, who has already pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. According to the U.S. attorney's office, Ohira received the whale meat in the U.S., prepared an invoice that described the meat as fatty tuna and delivered it to the Hump.
Court documents show that on one occasion, the restaurant paid Ohira more than $15,000 for the whale meat. In October 2009, marine mammal activists posing as customers were served whale during a visit to the restaurant. Whale meat was served to the activists two other times, federal prosecutors said.
More coverage at the LA Times, and the LA Weeekly's Informer blog.
Many species of fish served in American sushi restaurants are effectively endangered species, thanks to overfishing and destructive fishing methods. One could argue that 67 years in prison is an awfully long time for serving up one endangered marine species, when any number of others are also threatened. That said, the lying to feds part may have been what ratcheted the charges up to such dramatic levels.
What do you think?
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]