Eight San Diego restaurants fined for committing ‘lobster fraud’

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The City Attorney’s Office announced Monday that eight sushi restaurants in San Diego were convicted of seafood fraud for serving lobster rolls with no lobster in them.

Investigators from the City Attorney’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit purchased advertised "lobster rolls” from various sushi restaurants throughout San Diego, then sent them to a laboratory where DNA testing confirmed that no lobster was found in any of the rolls.

Instead of lobster, the testing revealed the substitution of less expensive seafood such as crawfish or pollock.

Follow-up inspections by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the city’s investigator found no lobster at any of the targeted sushi restaurants in Carmel Mountain Ranch, El Cerrito, Hillcrest, North Park, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Rancho Penasquitos and Tierrasanta.

The restaurants were identified as Little Tokyo on Carmel Mountain Road; Edamami Sushi & Roll on Santo Road; Wonderful Sushi on Black Mountain Road; Kim, Sun Young on Womble Road; OB Sushi on Newport Avenue; Riki Sushi on 30th Street; Wonderful Sushi on University Avenue; and RB Sushi 2 on El Cajon Boulevard.

The eight sushi restaurants paid a combined $14,000 in fines and more than $5,000 to reimburse investigative costs.

According to officials, each business pleaded guilty and changed its menu and other advertising to reflect the true content of the seafood rolls.

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