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.* [3:12 p.m. | Updated | The company may be able to get the Indian wood back, under the terms of the complicated agreement. ]
It's vital to find ways to curb illegal trafficking in tropical hardwoods. I criticized last year's raid of one of the company's factories as heavy handed (the company was also raided in 2009). Instrument makers are a tiny fraction of the global trade in such woods. But the law is the law.