Gibson Guitar – the company which became House Speaker John Boehner’s symbol of the Obama administration’s overreach – has agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty and surrender wood seized during a criminal investigation, the Justice Department announced Monday.
The agreement defers prosecution of Gibson Guitar’s alleged violations of the Lacey Act. DOJ believed the company was illegally purchasing and importing ebany wood from Madagascar and rosewood and ebony from India. From a press release:
The criminal enforcement agreement defers prosecution for criminal violations of the Lacey Act and requires Gibson to pay a penalty amount of $300,000. The agreement further provides for a community service payment of $50,000 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. Gibson will also implement a compliance program designed to strengthen its compliance controls and procedures. In related civil forfeiture actions, Gibson will withdraw its claims to the wood seized in the course of the criminal investigation, including Madagascar ebony from shipments with a total invoice value of $261,844.
Boehner invited CEO Henry Juszkiewicz to the State of the Union last year…