If you are looking for EIA UK, it's over here.

Lumber Liquidators Admits Guilt in Smuggling Illegal Timber, Agrees to Clean Up Supply Chain

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA— Today, legal representatives of Lumber Liquidators Inc. (LL) appeared in the Eastern District Court of Virginia to plead guilty to four misdemeanor counts for violations of the Lacey Act and one felony count of entry of goods by means of false statement. The judge presiding in the case accepted the guilty plea, and confirmed with both government and company representatives the facts in the plea agreement.

The plea agreement, released October 7, states that Lumber Liquidators Inc. agreed to pay more than $13 million in fines and be placed on a five-year probationary period while it implements a Lacey Act Compliance Plan. The plea agreement notes that the facts it contains “do not represent the entirety of the government’s evidence against the defendant.” A sentencing hearing is scheduled to take place on February 1, 2016.

“This case marks a critical turning point in efforts to transform the global timber supply chain, showing unequivocally the United States will no longer traffic in stolen goods,” said Kate Horner, Director of Forest Campaigns for the DC-based Environmental Investigation Agency. “Lumber Liquidators will not only pay for its past misdeeds with a hefty fine, the company will be forced to fundamentally transform their business model and sourcing practices to forgo cheap, illegal products that decimate the forests of the world as its implements a mandatory new, rigorous compliance plan.”

The DOJ initiated a federal investigation of the Lumber Liquidators’ wood sourcing practices in September 2013. In October 2013, the Environmental Investigation Agency’s (EIA) investigative report, Liquidating the Forests, revealed that the company had sourced illegal timber from the Russian Far East through its Chinese suppliers, ultimately selling it to unwitting consumers across the United States. Although Lumber Liquidators spokespeople denied any wrongdoing for the past two years, evidence made public in EIA’s investigative report, which showed serious illegalities in Lumber Liquidators hardwood flooring supply chains, was confirmed in the plea agreement. The DOJ also confirmed the findings of EIA investigators that Lumber Liquidators must have had knowledge of illegal practices such as overharvesting and falsified declarations at the time they increased their purchases from the respective Chinese suppliers.

Lumber Liquidators is the largest hardwood flooring retailer in the United States. The company’s plea agreement marks the first time a major corporation has been found guilty of violations of the US Lacey Act, which was amended in 2008 to include a prohibition on trade in illegally sourced and traded plant products.

###

Contact:
Maggie Dewane, Press Officer, mdewane@eia-global.org, +1 (202) 483-6621

View all Press Releases

Recent Blog Posts

Diana's Song: Musicians join indigenous defenders in Peru's threatened Amazon
01/19/2018
It’s not every day that the average person finds herself sitting on a stage in Lima, singing an unknown song in a native Amazonian language to half a million viewers on Facebook Live, with back-up vocals by KT Tunstall and musical accompaniment by Maroon 5’s guitarist, Dave Matthews Band’s bassist, and the lead singers of Guster and Kanaku & El Tigre. But Diana Rios is not your average person, and this was not your average day.
Fighting Forest Crime: CITES takes action against illegal rosewood trade
12/08/2017
At its 69th meeting, the Standing Committee (SC69) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) took important steps to curb the destructive illegal trade in rosewoods from Africa.

Recent Reports

Destino China: resumen complementario al informe Momento de la Verdad
02/14/2018
El reciente informe de EIA, El Momento de la Verdad mostró que la ilegalidad y el fraude son generalizados en todo el sector maderero peruano, y que una gran parte de la madera talada ilegalmente se exporta a decenas de países. En “Destino China: resumen complementario al informe Momento de la Verdad”, EIA parte de los mismos datos y análisis para destacar el mayor mercado de destino para las exportaciones de madera ilegal de Perú: China.
Moment of Truth: Promise or Peril for the Amazon as Peru Confronts its Illegal Timber Trade
02/07/2018
EIA’s new report describes important advances since 2012 in Peru’s fight against illegal logging, timber laundering, and its associated international trade – as well as the backlash against these new approaches.

Recent Press Releases

Peru's Fight Against Illegal Timber Trade at Risk as Authorities Weaken Rules and Regulations
02/07/2018
Peruvian forest authorities are weakening the tools and inspections necessary to prevent illegal timber trade, in the face of overwhelming evidence that Peru’s exports to the United States, China, Mexico and 15 other countries contained high percentages of illegal or high-risk wood. Moment of Truth, a new report from the non-profit Environmental Investigation Agency, demonstrates the extent of this illegal trade and the backlash against attempts to fight it.
Retrocesos en Regulaciones e Inspecciones Debilitan La Lucha Del Perú Contra el Comercio de Madera Ilegal
02/07/2018
Las autoridades forestales peruanas están debilitando las herramientas e inspecciones necesarias para prevenir el comercio de madera ilegal, ante una abrumadora evidencia de que las exportaciones del Perú a Estados Unidos, China, México y otros 15 países incluyeron altos porcentajes de madera ilegal o de alto riesgo. El Momento de la Verdad, un nuevo informe de investigación de la ONG internacional Agencia de Investigación Ambiental (EIA – Environmental Investigation Agency), demuestra los alcances de este tráfico ilegal y las reacciones en contra de las acciones para combatirlo.

Recent Videos

The 'S' Files
02/16/2017
EIA's series of videos exposing Holzindustrie Schweighofer's involvement in illegal logging in Romania,
The 'S' Files, Case #3: Depot Deception
12/21/2016
The latest in EIA's video series, The 'S' Files, Depot Deception shows that Holzindustrie Schweighofer, one of the largest timber companies in Europe, appears to be systematically...
Follow us @eiaenvironment on twitter for the latest updates!
How the U.S. Lacey Act Protects the Planet
The precedent-setting U.S. Lacey Act supports honest industry and protects the planet.
Holzindustrie Schweighofer & Illegal Timber
Lumber Liquidators in the Russian Far East
Musicians and the Illegal Timber Trade