Articles Tagged with federal crimes

The brother of a former Mexican president had been sentenced to serve seven years in prison for securities fraud and tax evasion. According to an article from the Los Angeles Times, the 67-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday, March 23, 2010 to grand theft auto, securities fraud and tax evasion for defrauding those investors by promising large returns for false business opportunities and stealing the investors funds. In addition to prison time, he must repay $460,000 to seven victims as well as $117,000 to the California Franchise Tax Board.

The man was originally arrested and charged in January. He faced a maximum sentence of 27 years in prison at the time. His guilty plea was supposedly coaxed by a plea bargain that dropped 13 out of the 15 original counts of grand theft auto and one count of tax evasion and fraudulent sales of securities.

The man had taken amounts that varied from $18,000 to $350,000 from victims between March 2006 and August 2007. He promised either land or Mexican political influence. In total, he unlawfully stole $1.2 million dollars from his victims. This is the man’s second criminal conviction. Over 20 years ago, he had been sentenced to ten years in an Arizona prison for fraud, serving a total of six years before he was released.

Last Wednesday, March 10, 2010, federal prosecutors charged Hump, a popular sushi restaurant in the Santa Monica owned by Typhoon Restaurant Inc., for selling endangered whale meat. Also being charged is the restaurant’s head chef. The investigation surfaced when the New York Times accused the restaurant and chef of serving endangered Sei whale meat out of the trunk of a white Mercedes.

This incident has shocked many environmental organizations and animal activists, especially since Santa Monica is known for its progressive environmentalism. Federal agents and animal activists worked together in a sting operation that orchestrated by the associate producer of Oscar-winning documentary, “The Cove.”

According to an article from the Los Angeles Times, both the restaurant and the chef are being charged with the illegal sale of a marine mammal product, a misdemeanor that holds a maximum sentence of one year in prison and fines up to $100,000 for an individual and $200,000 for an organization.

The attorney for Hump said in a statement that the restaurant “accepts responsibility for the wrongdoing charged by the U.S. attorney and will agree to pay a fine and resolve this matter in court.”
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