April 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Inglewood Marine Wildlife Companies Plead Guilty to Unlawfully Importing Live Corals from Vietnam

Renaissance Aquatics Inc. and Lim Aqua-Nautic Specialist Inc. each pleaded guilty to two felony counts of unlawfully importing live coral

Two Inglewood companies pleaded guilty this week to federal criminal charges for illegally importing protected live corals from Vietnam and, to conceal their unlawful activity, submitting false records with United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Renaissance Aquatics Inc. and Lim Aqua-Nautic Specialist Inc. each pleaded guilty to two felony counts of unlawfully importing live coral.

According to their plea agreements, from 2007 until March 2013, Renaissance Aquatics operated as a retailer of live marine specimens and acted as an agent for Lim Aqua-Nautic Specialist, a wholesaler of marine wildlife. The companies imported marine life from foreign suppliers, then sold and shipped marine life within and outside the United States. Both companies were located within the same commercial building in Inglewood.

Renaissance employees placed orders with foreign suppliers to purchase various live saltwater species, including live corals. Aqua-Nautic provided Renaissance with the funds to pay for the orders, provided trucks and drivers to pick-up the orders upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, and provided warehouse space and employees to unpack, condition and store the marine life upon its delivery from the airport. Aqua-Nautic received most of the proceeds from the subsequent sales of the wildlife to Renaissance customers.

Renaissance imported orders from a supplier in Vietnam that contained live stony corals, also known as “hard corals,” that the defendants knew were protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). To lawfully import the live stony corals, Renaissance was required to identify the corals on United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife and to have the required CITES documentation.

Renaissance neither declared the live stony corals in the shipments from Vietnam nor provided the required CITES documentation for them. Renaissance caused its customs broker to submit to the USFWS a misleading “Invoice & Packing List” that intentionally omitted the live stony corals and listed inaccurate prices. The shipments from Vietnam also were packed in a manner to conceal the live stony corals beneath other properly declared wildlife.

From May 2012 to March 2013, Renaissance, acting as Aqua-Nautic’s agent, imported at least eight shipments from Vietnam containing stony corals that were not declared to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and were not accompanied by the required CITES documentation.

United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald scheduled a November 9 sentencing hearing, at which time each company will face a statutory maximum sentence of five years’ probation and a $1 million fine.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated this case.

Assistant United States Attorneys Heather C. Gorman and Dennis Mitchell of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section are prosecuting this case.

in News
Related Posts

Legislation Seeks to Place Speed Cameras on Pacific Coast Highway

April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

The Proposed System Would Work Alongside Radar Feedback Signs, with Violators Facing Fines of up to $500 Malibu officials, led...

(Video) Award-Winning Pianist to Premiere “Rocket Man: A Live Orchestral Experience” in Santa Monica

April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

Classic Songs Will Include “Crocodile Rock” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” @yovenicenews “Rocket Man” is coming soon to Santa Monica...

Venice Shorts: New Encampment Emerges at 6th & Broadway

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

Tent-Like Structure Next to Church Has Several Components By Nick Antonicello A new encampment was set up last week and...

Girls Learn Self Defense at Empowerment Summer Camp for Girls

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, girls are invited to explore practical self defense training at SHIELD Women’s Self Defense’s 2024 Empowerment Summer Camp...

Brentwood Art Center: Kids Explore Fundamentals of Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The beloved Brentwood Art Center is hosting summer camps at its new location at Olympic and 17th in Santa Monica. ...

Camp Integem: Explore, Design and Innovate with Future Tech

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, kids are inviting to make magic as they journey into the fun-filled, hands-on world of artificial intelligence (AI),...

(Video) Mayor & Vice Mayor of Santa Monica Speak Out Against Needle Exchange Program

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Demonstration was Organized by the Santa Monica Coalition @yovenicenews A Santa Monica rally has held against the needle exchange...

Marina del Rey Apartment Shooter Faces 20 Felony Charges, Could Spend Life in Prison

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Self-Employed Chef Is Being Held in Lieu of Over $5M Bail By Zach Armstrong A man accused of firing...

Los Angeles County District Attorney Announces Charges In Brutal Venice Sexual Assaults

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Charges Filed Against Suspect in Venice Canals Case by LADA George Gascon Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has...

Measles Infected Traveler Visited Santa Monica Pier, Public Health Officials Warn

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Authorities Urge Individuals Who Were at The Specified Venues to Monitor Their Health The California Department of Public Health notified...

420 is coming and our friends at Venice Kush are going to be going all out !

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

420 is coming and our friends at @Venice Kush are going to be going all out ! Check out this...

Kids Learn Local Waters in Aquarium Science Camp

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

This summer, kids have the opportunity to engage in science and learn about the fascinating water systems in Santa Monica...

Saint Monica Prep: Mariner Sports Camps Focus on Fundamentals

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Teams at Saint Monica Preparatory took big wins this winter season.  The coaches leading an undefeated girls’ soccer team, winning...

Sophie Dance West Dance Camp Enrolling Now

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Calling all Swifties! Sophie Dance West, an all-inclusive kids dance studio that welcomes any skill level from beginner to highly...

GoFundMe Raises Over $84K for Venice Canal Attack Victim

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

The Victim Received at Least Eight Fractures to Her Jaw, a Large Laceration to the Back of Her Head and...