Almost exactly a year ago, Gibson Guitars facilities in Nashville and Memphis were raided by FBI agents who stated that many of the woods that were being used in the manufacturing of Gibson guitars were illegally obtained. There was a big concern that Gibson HQ would have to shut down facilities and that many guitars already out and about in the world (and in the hands of musicians) would be deemed contraband.
Originally, Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz stated that legal recourse would be taken against the Federal Government for these raids and charges. Now the company has decided to pay fines that amount to $350,000 as well as withdrawing claims of $262,000 worth of exotic woods being seized. This is being done to avoid criminal charges.