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SaMo Restaurant & Sushi Chef Charged in Selling Whale Meat

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The investigation of Oscar-winning documentarians and federal officials has prompted the U.S. Attorney's Office to charge Typhoon Restaurant, Inc.--the parent company of The Hump restaurant--and Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, a 45-year-old chef who resides in Culver City, for the illegal sale of a marine mammal product, specifically, Sei whale, for an unauthorized purpose. “Someone should not be able to walk into a restaurant and order a plate of an endangered species,” said U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. in a statement. It is illegal to sell any kind of whale meat in the United States. Sei whales are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and they are listed as endangered in Endangered Species Act of 1973. The misdemeanor offense carries a maximum statutory penalty of one year in federal prison and a maximum fine of $100,000 for an individual and $200,000 for an organization.