Skip to comments.Gibson Guitar Corp. Strikes Deal with Justice Dept. to Avoid Prosecution
Posted on 08/06/2012 10:38:28 AM PDT by kingattax
Gibson Guitar Corp. agreed to settle charges that it illegally purchased and imported ebony wood from Madagascar and rosewood and ebony from India, the Justice Department said today.
The company will pay a $300,000 fine under a criminal enforcement agreement that defers prosecution for criminal violations of the Lacey Act. Another $50,000 fine will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be used to promote the conservation, identification and propagation of protected tree species used in the musical instrument industry and the forests where those species are found.
Since May 2008, it has been illegal under the Lacey Act to import into the United States plants and plant products that have been harvested and exported in violation of the laws of another country. Raids of Gibson factories by federal authorities led to concerns from some guitar owners that they could also be found in violation and pursued for having instruments made of illegal wood.
Last August, Gibson officials accused the government of bullying the company. Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of any wrong doing. We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence.
Under the agreement with the Justice and Interior departments, Gibson will also withdraw its civil claim to retrieve $261,844 worth of Madagascar ebony seized in a raid.
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, said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. Gibson has ceased acquisitions of wood species from Madagascar and recognizes its duty under the U.S. Lacey Act to guard against the acquisition of wood of illegal origin by verifying the circumstances of its harvest and export, which is good for American business and American consumers.
The criminal enforcement agreement includes a detailed statement of facts describing the conduct for which Gibson accepts and acknowledges responsibility. Gibson received four shipments of Madagascar ebony fingerboard blanks from its supplier between October 2008 and September 2009.
More underhanded Big Government extortion to fund socialist wealth redistribution.
They use any pretense at all to control, tax, extort.
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Meanwhile, the more they drive companies out of business, the less funding they’ll get. It’s like they’re possessed with a zeal to destroy this country as strong as the zeal that possesses the Iranian Twelver elite to destroy the planet . . .
Nothing more than armed robbery by government.
Eat more chicken, buy another Gibson.
Overzealous, regulatory overreach.
DOJ and Musical Instrument maker reach a chord?
An horrific act of extortion by the Government.
It’s like those show trials in Mao’s China where people were forced to incriminate themselves - except that today’s Maoists also insist on extracting about half a billion dollars in tribute (I’m including the cost of the wood here).
(gasp) Does this make ME a criminal???
Gibson knows it is cheaper to pay the bribe than to fight them in court.
Government intimidation and extortion. Gibson had purchaced the wood in question long before it became illegal to purchace the Brazilian rosewood. There was no mandate to return purchaced wood. Martin was not attacked because the Martin owners ponied up money to the obama candidacy. Gibson was extorted. They paid the fine just to stop the legal fees from bleeding them into backrupcy.
An ethical and honest journalist (there aren’t any anymore, I’m afraid) would find out the principals in the company and find out what they’ve been forced to contribute [voluntarily] to Obama’s Re-election campaign.
We all know there aren’t any real journalists left so this episode in Americana Musicality will remain a mystery, I guess.
You need to re-do that graphic, and label every guitar an “AK-47”.
So... what happens to that wood now?
If anyone doesn’t despise the central socialist government raise your hand!
I have a Les Paul Custom, 1980 vintage.
Gets burned and the heat wasted so it's never used?
Gibson doesn't have the best reputation in town for treating it's employees right. So it's possible Gibson was knowingly violating the law.
"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"
Gibson gave up the consficated inventory, and paid a fine rather than continue to fight? Why? What information did the government have?
I bought the SG brand new in '73 for $325.00. : )
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