THE NEW YORK TIMES
August 6, 2012,
Gibson Guitar To Pay $300,000 in Penalties and Lose Seized Tropical Hardwood
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
The Justice Department has closed its criminal investigation against the Gibson Guitar Company after the company agreed to a series of steps, including payment of $300,000 in penalties and forfeiture of seized rosewood and ebony shipments from India and ebony from Madagascar with an estimated value of more than $419,000.* 
The details of the settlement of the Gibson case can be read in a Justice Department news release. Hereâ€™s a core section:
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.
In light of Gibsonâ€™s acknowledgement of its conduct, its duties under the Lacey Act and its promised cooperation and remedial actions, the government will decline charging Gibson criminally in connection with Gibsonâ€™s order, purchase or importation of ebony from Madagascar and ebony and rosewood from India, provided that Gibson fully carries out its obligations under the agreement, and commits no future violations of law, including Lacey Act violations.
â€œAs 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,â€ said Assistant Attorney General Moreno. â€œGibson 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.â€