- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Los Angeles-based furniture business has pleaded guilty to smuggling endangered seafood.

The U.S. attorney in San Diego said in a statement that Kaven Company and its owner Kam Wing Chan admitted Tuesday to buying endangered abalone and Totoaba (toe-TWAH-bah) in Mexico, bringing them to the United States then exporting them to China.

In one instance, Chan acknowledged buying 37 pounds of dried abalone and 58 Totoaba swim bladders to the U.S. using the cover of his furniture business, then shipping them to a relative in China.

Under the plea, Chan and the business must pay nearly $60,000 in fines and restitution.

Both fish are considered delicacies in China.

The Totoaba is a fish found only in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez and the Chinese demand for it has helped lead to its endangered status.

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