WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Gibson Guitar Corp. reached agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to pay $350,000 to resolve an investigation over wood imports.
The case was brought under the Lacey Act, which covers the use of wood and other plant products, among other things. The act requires companies to detail disclosures about wood imports and bars the purchase of goods exported in violation of a foreign country's laws.
Gibson allegedly purchased and imported ebony wood from Madagascar and rosewood and ebony from India.
Under the agreement, Gibson will pay $300,000 in a penalty and $50,000 as a community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to promote conservation, identification and propagation of protected trees used in the musical instrument industry and the forests where those species are found, the department said.
Gibson will also implement a compliance program to strengthen its compliance controls and procedures.
In a related civil forfeiture actions, Gibson will withdraw its claims to wood seized during the criminal investigation.
Because Gibson acknowledged its conduct and its promised cooperation and remedial actions, the government won't file criminal charges against Gibson over its order of the woods, the department said.