Gibson Guitar Settles Over Illegal Wood Imports

Gibson Guitar will remain in business. The company has worked out a settlement deal with the federal government to avoid criminal charges for illegally importing endangered ebony and rosewood after the company apparently continued to receive shipments of these endangered woods in violation of the Lacey Act from India and Madagascar. The legendary guitar maker company agreed to pay the federal government a $300,000 fine in addition to a $50,000 contribution for public service works for the U.S. National Fish And Wildlife Foundation, as well as to withdraw a claim to free up $262,000 of the exotic woods that were impounded during importation by the U.S. Justice Department. No word on what now happens to all of that impounded endangered wood. But, the feds destroying it seems unfortunately likely.

Although, the company now has a damaged reputation because of this scandal, it still allows the legendary guitar maker to remain in business and to avoid criminal charges which could possibly end the Gibson Guitar brand, used by many famous musicians worldwide.

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  • cheekymonkey

    Hmm, something doesn’t sound right about this story. Gibson is not in violation of the Lacey Act, what they imported was legal in those countries.

    “The government has focused on a March 2009 shipment of ebony from
    Madagascar intended for guitar fingerboards. Madagascar law bars the
    export of certain unfinished wood products, according to both Gibson and
    the government. Gibson says the ebony had been cut into pieces and that
    local officials approved the export as a legal sale of finished goods.” [1], [2]

    This was a political vendetta against a company that made donations to Republicans. Another guitar company that imported exactly the same wood from the same countries had no seizures or charges in the same time frame. Coincidence that they have made donations to Democrats?? [1]

    Where is your source for this story? No links that I can see.



  • ravenshrike

    “Damaged reputation” Yeah… no. Among all the people who might actually care one way or the other, they all know it was bullshit .gov harassment instigated by bureaucrat assholes emboldened by the obama admin.