Gibson Guitar Corp. ended a long-running battle with federal investigators by agreeing to pay $350,000 and renounce any claim to wood seized by the federal government, rather than face criminal charges for the alleged illegal purchase and importation of wood from Madagascar and India.
“As a result of this investigation and criminal enforcement agreement, Gibson has acknowledged that it failed to act on information that the Madagascar ebony it was purchasing may have violated laws intended to limit overharvesting and conserve valuable wood species from Madagascar, a country which has been severely impacted by deforestation,”Assistant Attorney General Moreno said in a statement.
Under the agreement, Gibson must pay a $300,000 penalty and “a community service payment of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to promote the conservation . . . of protected tree species used in the musical instrument industry.” The company must also renounce it’s claim to the wood seized, which was reportedly valued at over $1 million.
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