Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Gibson Guitar Saga Gets Steadily Curiouser

The Gibson Guitar Saga Gets Steadily Curiouser
These days, you can’t keep up with all the news. There is just too much going on. So inevitably, there are interesting stories that you have to catch up with when you can, like a moving train. The Justice Department’s raid on four Gibson guitar factories is in that category. The raid took place last Wednesday; this Memphis Daily News story, published this morning, is a good place to start:

Around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, agents executed four search warrants on Gibson facilities in the two cities [Nashville and Memphis]. They seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars.

But Gibson’s CEO says his company has not been told what it did wrong and that he assumes the allegation is that some of the wood being used to manufacture the company’s guitars is illegal.

“Everything is sealed. They won’t tell us anything,” Juszkiewicz said, never raising his voice but pulling no punches in his defense of the storied guitar maker.

He valued the equipment and raw materials seized from Gibson at almost $1 million. At one point, the chief executive said he’s letting the U.S. Justice Department know he’s telling his employees to keep making the instruments. …

“We feel totally abused,” he continued. “We believe the arrogance of federal power is impacting me personally, our company personally and the employees here in Tennessee, and it’s just plain wrong.”

The company stated it assumes the raid stems from an alleged violation of the U.S. Lacey Act, legislation that requires anyone coming into the U.S. to declare with unambiguous specificity the nature of materials being brought into the country. Full article here

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