Gibson to Pay in Lacey Act Violations

Nashville-based Gibson Guitar Corp. will pay a $300,000 fine and make a $50,000 community-service payment for conservation in response to federal allegations that the company used illegally obtained ebony wood in the manufacture of its products. The U.S. Justice Department said in a news release that the settlement resolves a criminal investigation into allegations that the company violated the Lacey Act by illegally purchasing and importing ebony wood from Madagascar and rosewood and ebony from India. The agreement was announced today by Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Jerry Martin and Dan Ashe, director of the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The criminal enforcement agreement defers prosecution for criminal violations. The Blog of Legal TImes has more