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Crime and punishment

Sushi restaurant fined after serving whale to customers

The owner of The Hump, a shuttered restaurant in Santa Monica, California, has been ordered to pay more than $27,000 in fines and sentenced to 12 months probation after it came to light that the establishment served a protected species of whale meat.

The Hump was shut down in 2010 after undercover federal investigators were served Sei whale meat by sushi chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto, who admitted in a whisper it was whale. A test showed that the whale meat was at least three years old, LAist reports.

Brian Vidor, the owner of The Hump's parent company, Typhoon Restaurant Inc., pleaded guilty Monday to one count of unlawful sale of marine mammal. Vidor also admitted that he was aware of Yamamoto and another chef, Susumu Ueda, serving the whale. The chefs both pleaded guilty during separate trials, but are awaiting their sentencing.