In a recent Wall Street Journal article written by Reed Albergotti entitled:South Africa Awarded Delicious Sum for Stolen Lobster, a federal judge in New York has recommended for the first time that damages be paid to a foreign government under the Lacey Act. For more than 100 years, the Lacey Act has prohibited the illegal sale and transport of harvested plants and wildlife. While courts have long used the Lacey Act to require violators to pay restitution to state governments in the United States, the ruling issued by Judge Andrew Peck for the defendants to pay $54.9 million marks the first time that monies have been paid to a foreign government.
The ruling came after a lower court had failed to require restitution and an appeal was brought by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney. For further information, please see the full text of the article.