On August 6, 2012, Gibson Guitar Corp. entered into a criminal enforcement agreement with the United States, resolving 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 Lacey Act prohibits the importation into the United States of plants and plant products that have been harvested and exported in violation of the laws of another country.
The agreement requires Gibson to pay a penalty amount of $300,000 and provides for a community service payment of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to promote the conservation, identification and propagation of protected tree species used in the musical instrument industry. Gibson also agreed to implement a compliance program and to withdraw its claims to the wood seized in the course of the investigation, including Madagascar ebony from shipments with a total invoice value of $261,844.
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