Skip to comments.Gibson Guitar case drags on with no sign of criminal charges
Posted on 04/12/2012 12:39:01 PM PDT by NoLibZone
t was seven months ago that federal agents with guns drawn raided the Gibson guitar factories in Nashville and Memphis. A half million dollars worth of Indian rosewood and ebony was seized under the premise that it had been imported illegally. The feds also took a number of guitars and computer hard drives. The factory was shut down for the day and employees told to go home.
Yet after all this time, the Department of Justice has shown no sign that it will file criminal charges against Gibson. Whats more it has been almost 3 years since federal agents first raided Gibson (November 2009), seizing a quantity of wood from Madagascar. No decision on criminal charges in that case either.
Meantime, the DOJ has blocked a civil court case in which Gibson was appealing to get its wood back while the criminal investigation proceeds. Or doesnt.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
...but you should see Holder’s basement entertanment room “Man Cave!”
It’s got the neatest Indian rosewood and ebony Bar.
All of the wood that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife guys were worried about was confiscated and is sitting somewhere rotting away. Nice job!
I luv all of these people who are soooo naive to what this government has done. Who knows, this guy might be an Obama supporter. They can't? Well they are & nobody stands up against them. Banana Republic.
Amazing that the DOJ has time for this but nothing for the Black Panthers, who actually put out a bounty on a man’s head...
I haven't followed this very closely, but I'm pretty certain they don't have any jurisdiction over this CFR. That sounds like USFW made a MAJOR mistake, if that's the case.
They have no case but infinitely deep pockets and can drag this out almost forever. The ‘tactic’ is SOP for all govt agencies bend on punishing someone for whatever reason they feel like. The ATF does this all the time. In their case guns taken are generally stolen (ie lost) or damaged. Almost anyone (even liberals) can easily see this is wrong. Unless radical changes are made Gibson should come to peace w/ loosing their property and move on. They’ll spend more on lawyers fees than the goods are worth. Perhaps they can recoup it when it comes up at a govt auction for pennies on the dollar. Then again the govt may just decide to burn it all.
I think that would explain why no criminal charges have been brought against Gibson. They didn’t do anything wrong. I just watched this segment on FOX. I didn’t know that USFW had “raided” Gibson TWICE.
Correct. There's no incentive whatsoever for this to be handled with any expediency. In fact, there may be perverse incentives that result in the slow processing of this issue (ie: an audit of how many cases they have open, or an inventory of seized products).
You don't want to get yourself mixed up in any type of bureaucracy. In the Gov, everything works exactly opposite of the way it does in private industry.
Why wouldn’t this administration go after a Made in America company? They keep digging a bigger and bigger hole yet by some mysterious power the people who are supposed to report the news honestly and fairly keep filling up the holes for Obama.
Stating the obvious....I absolutely, positively, 100% guarantee you all that this is political; has ZIP to do with wood.
Martin’s CEO, by the way, is a big lib supporter. Not so with Gibson execs.
The idiots who ordered, planned, and executed this Nazi-like raid should ALL be not only fired, but prosecuted and put behind bars.
The last time we discussed this here, someone said that he was an Obama donor. I don't know for sure myself.
They’re probably trying to send a message. What that message is, I don’t have a clue. As a guitar player alone, even though I don’t own a Gibson, this makes me angry. Being a Conservative however and understanding the purpose of this current government, I just shake my head and wait for the next one.
LOL - nice case
Then Martin’s executives should be challenged with the suspicion that this is cronyism in enforcement.
Most of Gibson’s guitars are made in America; just that the more expensive ones probably use exotic woods from around the world for custom guitars. The work is done in America though. If you played guitar, left handed, you should try my Mexi-made Strat, then an American-made Strat.
Nope. All the guitars are made with the same wood. The wood is NOT the violation. The violation has to do with holes drilled into one piece of wood on the guitar. The holes have to be drilled by the country we have some trade agreement with (I forget which one it is, maybe Spain) and then imported. American companies are not allowed to drill them here. Something like that.
Probably the Lacey/CITES regulations. It's hard to tell though, because there's a lot of missing and confusing information in this story. Which, (although I'm a known critic of reporting) isn't necessarily unexpected in dealing with the GOV.
A well oiled machine our government is!
I think the last article I read on here about it said that the wood is Indian.
This doesn't have anything to do with the wood itself.
One piece of wood has drilled holes and one doesn't. One of them is against the law.
It could be either the body or the neck, from what I can remember the first article didn’t specify which it was.
Its on the neck somewhere.
If the neck then where it bolts on to the body. Or it could be the tuning machines.
In it's own way, the conservative reporting on these cases has been as inaccurate and as designed to point to only one side as the media's reporting in the Zimmerman/Martin case.
The government brought civil forfeiture actions with respect to each seizuer. The first: U.S. v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms, Case No. 3:10-cv-00747 (U.S. Dist. Ct., Mid. Dist. Tenn.). The second. U.S. v. 25 Bundles of Indian Ebony Wood, Case No. 3:11-cv-00913 (U.S. Dist. Ct., Mid. Dist. Tenn.)
It's not even clear in the second case that the wood belongs to Gibson. It was imported by Luthier Mercantile International, the import paperwork didn't name Gibson as the ultimate consignee or importer, LMI is the party that changed the Hamonized Schedule Code on the wood after it was exported from India, LMI is the party that put the inaccurate description of the wood on the shipping cartons, Theodor Nagel Gmbh (an affiliate of LMI) was shown as the ultimate consignee on the paperwork for shipment to the Red Arrow warehouse in Nashville, Gibson never paid for the wood, and Luthier Mercantile filed a claim for the wood in the civil forfeiture action as well as Gibson.
And you'll note that after all of the screaming in the media (and by Gibson) about "East Indian Rosewood", there's no East Indian Rosewood involved in the forfeiture from the second raid.
This is sort of like being caught as an underage kid with a beer by a cop and being forced to pour it out - then screaming "I didn't do anything wrong! I only had to pour the beer out! They never arrested me! See! I clearly didn't engage in underaged drinking, because I only had to pour the beer out for underaged drinking, and they never arrested me for underaged drinking!"
It wouldn’t be the entire neck ,, too expensive ... it is probably the top layer the strings contact ... rosewood is like iron ,, very hard .. it would resist abrasion from metal strings well.
May I add, that their families should also be left penniless. The people doing this raid are sadistic. They would probably laugh if the families of Gibson were thrown on the street.
Many in our government at all levels are carrying truly evil deeds. They are vile human beings.
The first involved Madagascar ebony. Gibson really doesn't want you to talk about that one, because they might have to talk about the emails from Gibson employee Gene Nix, who spent 2-1/2 weeks on the ground in Madgascar in June 2008 and reported that all legal exports were prohibited, or the internal Gibson reports seized by the government. Nix even toured the 'factory' of Roger Thunam, who had been convicted of lumber trafficking, and reported that Thunam's lumber was under seizure by the Malagasy government. Later, Gibson bought from Thunam through a German company called Theodor Nagel Gmbh. The feds were alerted that Nagel was importing illegal wood. Nagel's imports led to Gibson.
Try this post for a more complete explanation of the first raid: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2835308/posts?page=37#37
The material in question is used for fingerboards.
Well I guess Gibson Guitars should have donated to the Obama campaign.
But they are in luck: it’s another Presidential election. :) Open the checkbook and give, give, give. :)
No. No. Henry Juszkiewicz may not donate politically (he's only made two political contributions since 1990 - one to a Republican and one to a Democrat), but he's a major, major liberal supporter. Dave Berryman doesn't appear anywhere on the radar screen. Those two own Gibson.
Henry J. and Gibson are early members of the Clinton Global Initiative. When the Clinton White House was for sale, Gibson bought the whole thing out for a concert for Bill Clinton. The MTV Rock the Vote (let me repeat that: MTV Rock the Vote) then honored Bill Clinton (and Barack Obama)? Henry J. was a presenter that year.
He's a founding member of the Rainforest Alliance, which warns of Global Warming.
He sponsors the John Lennon educational bus program.
He's involved in a program that does poetry jams for diversity, and other major diversity programs.
Henry J. is not now and has never been a conservative. He's a flaming liberal and has always been one. His money goes to liberal causes.
What had happened was the mailers had gone bankrupt and their assets were sold off to other mailers. This guy thought he could transfer the old deficiencies (that'd been unpaid) to the new owners of the equipment.
He refused to understand that bankruptcy stood in the way of any collection!
The appeals from those cases had sat around another office for a number of years because every time anyone called the originator he'd get mad and call the big boss.
That one idiot had "buffaloed" a serious chunk of our functional area by screaming and shouting.
I have a feeling the Gibson case(s) have someone like that in the background and no one wants to let him get crosswise in their alimentary canal!
Yes, because it has nothing to do with the 'kind' of wood. Generally, it has to do with the form in which the wood is in when it is imported and the harmonized schedule code used to import the wood.
And in the case of this import, it involved a company called Luthier Mercantile International changing the HS code on the wood (twice) after it was exported, mislabeling the wood, listing an incorrect ultimate consignee on the import papers, failing to file Lacey Act paperwork, shipping additional wood into Nashville through Canada in the name of LMI with an advance email telling the warehouse that the customs paperwork didn't name the true ultimate consignee of the wood, and more.
Gibson hadn't paid for any of the wood, and LMI's the party with direct fingerprints on all of the improper actions, which is why LMI also filed a claim in the civil forfeiture action, because the wood may belong to LMI and not Gibson.
However, all of those intentional actions of LMI in changing the HS codes, listing false consignees, and such, makes the imported item (the wood) contraband under the law. Nobody wants to hear that, because we all hate Obama so much that the "Obama's after Gibson" story angers us so much more. And it's nice to be mad at Obama.
With mother of pearl and abalone inlays!
It's the fingerboard. (BTW, Gibson doesn't bolt their necks on, they glue them.)
That’s got to be One great Basemnt Bar Top. lol
Seizing property without due process has become the norm in this country. Sad.
The country is Madagascar,and they have no problem with the drilling being done in the US. it is only OUR government that has a problem with it.
Eventually, someone will write a piece of paper with a fine on it, slip it to Gibson, they'll write back another amount, and a press release will be made about a settlement in the case.
Only way this stops is if we start retiring rules and regulations, and put in a permanent sunset on ALL laws, requiring them to be re-approved after a certain number of years.
It would be nice if Fox got its facts straight.
(1) "Civil court case." That's singular, Fox. There's not a 'case.' There are two cases, both in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Tennessee. They're cases number 3-10-cv-00747 and 3-11-CV-00913.
'The DOJ has blocked." Well, no. Technically, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Haynes ordered a stay. It's a little different when a U.S. Federal Judge does it than when the Holder DOJ does it.
(3) 'GIbson was appealing." No, not if you want to be precise. Gibson has filed a "Verified Claim Contesting Forfeiture." In both cases. If you want to dumb it down - but if you want to dumb it down, then I guess the 'police told Zimmerman not to follow Martin.' It's easier to understand that way.
The reporting on this case IS the rough equivalent of the Zimmerman case. We know all about Gibson and we've formed an opinion about the Obama DOJ - but nobody's ever hear about Roger Thunam, Theodor Nagel Gmbh, Gene Nix, Phil Guillery, Hunter Trading Corporation, Andrew Keck, Luthier Mercantile, Red Arrow, or Antalaha Brana of BFV-Société Générale. Because it's a lot easier to say "Obama's out to get Gibson" than to follow the story of a company that thought it wasn't going to get caught.
Still, it’s imported goods ~ you cross that custom’s line and it’s not Kansas anymore ~ nor is it Tennessee either!
If you're talking acoustics, then the only 'major' company in higher-end guitars that bolts on necks as a matter of course would be Taylor.
Now that's interesting, too. Makes it sound as if the government is holding wood seized from Gibson's factories in Nashville and Memphis, doesn't it?
Not the case. From the Verified Complaint in Rem filed on September 27, 2011, in the civil forfeiture case.
The only wood being held was seized from LMI, not Gibson, and from Dallas, not Nashville or Memphis. LMI has entered a claim because Gibson's never paid for the wood that was seized and its name didn't appear on any of the customs or ownership paperwork for the wood.
There are 26 filings, frequently a multi-document 'filing' with exhibits that are often themselves multi-page documents (not that anybody appears willing or desirous of reading what Gibson or the government say in those documents). Gibson's not trying to claim ownership of any wood from any raid of any Gibson factory.
If I dig back through them, there's a value placed on that wood - and it's not remotely a half million dollars (but a half million sounds great when you're writing a story).
So, no, there's no rosewood involved, and no, the wood didn't come from Gibson's factories in Nashville or Memphis, and no, it's not worth a half million, and no, Gibson may not have even been the owner (that's an issue that has to be decided by the court) - but it certainly sounds nice when Fox writes it that way, doesn't it?
"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with. ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged