According to federal prosecutors, a deal has been struck to drop the criminal case against Gibson Guitar Corp., following the instrument maker’s admission that its exotic wood imports violated environmental laws, the Associated Press reported today. The agreement, announced today, stipulates that Nashville-based Gibson must pay a $300,000 penalty, the AP story said. In addition, the company has agreed to forfeit claims to more than $250,000 worth of wood seized by federal agents and contribute $50,000 to aid in promoting conservation of protected tree species. The company did not immediately respond to the AP reporter’s request for comment.
Gibson’s decision to cooperate with federal laws banning the import of endangered wood products contrasts with a 2011 publicity campaign the company undertook after agents raided Gibson Memphis and Nashville facilities. Some political groups rallied behind Henry Juszkiewicz, the company’s CEO, when he decried the raids as overzealous federal regulation that threatened American jobs.