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Store Owner Fined $2,800 for Trying to Sell Bear Part

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

August 05, 2000

CHINATOWN — The corporate owner of a Chinatown store was ordered to pay $2,800 for selling an undercover investigator what the sales clerk said was a bear gall bladder. The sale was in violation of an environmental law that makes it illegal to deal in bear parts in California, prosecutors said.

Wing Hop Fung Ginseng Inc. was sentenced Thursday after an attorney for the company entered a no-contest plea to one count of illegally offering a bear gall bladder for sale.

The gall bladder turned out to be from a pig, but store officials did not know that when they tried to sell it, officials said.

Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta also placed the company on two years' summary probation and ordered it to place a quarter-page advertisement in a Chinese-language newspaper stating: "The California Department of Fish and Game prohibits the sale of bear and bear gall bladder. It is illegal to purchase or sell bear gall bladder in California."

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