.

Gibson Agrees to Pay Penalty Over Imported Ebony Wood

Guitar maker settles federal charges with $350,000 in fines

The Gibson Guitar Corp. factory in Nashville.
Jeff Adkins/Bloomberg via Getty Images
August 6, 2012 3:00 PM ET

Gibson Guitars has settled federal charges of unlawfully importing ebony wood from Madagascar for fretboards by agreeing to pay $350,000 in penalties, The New York Times reports. Gibson will pay a $300,000 fine and donate an additional $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The company will escape criminal charges if it does not violate terms of a settlement in the next year and a half. Gibson also agreed to abandon a lawsuit seeking $261,000 in damages incurred during the investigation.

"Gibson has acknowledged that it failed to act on information that the Madagascar ebony it was purchasing may have violated laws intended to limit over-harvesting and conserve valuable wood species from Madagascar, a country which has been severely impacted by deforestration," said Ignacia S. Morena, an assistant U.S. attorney general.

Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s chief executive, last year called the charges "baloney."

Gibson was accused of violating the Macey Act, which has since May 2008 outlawed importing wood harvested and illegally exported under another's country's laws. In August 2011, federal authorities raided a Gibson factory in Nashville, Tennessee, seeking wood imported from India. Two years earlier, armed agents stormed a Nashville Gibson factory over imported wood from Madagascar.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com