Federal prosecutors have filed charges against the sushi chef and the Santa Monica restaurant, The Hump.
Typhoon Restaurant Inc., which owns The Hump restaurant, and 45-year-old Kiyoshiro Yamamoto of Culver City, were charged Wednesday with illegally selling an endangered species product, a misdemeanor.
Two undercover diners requested whale as part of a $600 "chef's choice" meal. The women were working with producers of the Oscar-winning documentary, "The Cove," to videotape the meal.
Court records say they pocketed a sample, and testing confirmed it was Sei whale meat.
An attorney for Typhoon, Gary Lincenberg, says the restaurant accepts responsibility and will agree to pay a fine. If convicted, the company could be fined $200,000.
Yamamoto faces a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, if convicted. His attorney, Mark Byrne, declined to comment.