Rev. Moon is off the hook on shark poaching prosecution

News Summary/August 12, 2016

By Rick Alan Ross

The East Bay Express reported that the Unification Church, founded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, paid a $500,000 fine to avoid prosecution over baby leopard shark poaching charges. The non-prosecution agreement and payment ended a three-year federal investigation regarding shark poaching violations in San Francisco Bay.

Rev. Kevin Thompson, a devoted follower of Rev. Moon and leader of the Unification Church in San Leandro, was sentenced to one year in federal prison and paid a $100,000 fine for illegally poaching in San Francisco Bay. Thompson said that he told Rev. Moon about his criminal enterprise and Moon reportedly "condoned it." 

Sun Myung Moon's church has been called a "cult" and families have alleged that the Unification Church "brainwashes" its members, compromising their critical thinking.

Prosecutors in the shark poaching case collected $910,000 in fines and successfully obtained six convictions.

U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan, fired by the Bush Administration, announced the non-prosecution agreement at a press conference. The funds collected were later used for leopard shark habitat protection in San Francisco Bay.

Note: This news summary is based in part upon the report "Moonies pay $500,000 to avoid shark prosecution" by Robert Gammon published by the
East Bay Express February 12, 2016.

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