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Gibson admits wrong doing

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Gibson hasn't "admitted" anything, they have just settled the matter for an agreed sum in order to bring it to a close.

 

It is entirely true that settlement does not act as an admission of guilt , and usually doesn't include an admission of guilt. However, In my experience, the general rule is that ttha poor party settles because they don't have the money to fight, and a richer party settles because it's the best business decision. E.g.,

 

[1] Defendant is without money to hire counsel, or is represented by a Public Defender - knows that they don't stand a chance at trial against the rescources of the state;

[2] An insurance company has assumed defense of the action, and then has the right to settle within policy limits based on it's economic interetsts. the insurer doesn't care who was right or wroung. It only weighs what sort of judgment it may have to pay in court against what settlement it can negotiate;

 

[3] Defendant did behave as alleges, and now wants to minimise the damage.

 

I don't see [1] or [2] in this case. Henry J is not some peniless kid who's arrested but claims mistaken identity, and Commercial General Libility policies generally don't cover regulatory torts. I think we're looking at #3, after the gamble on politically intimidating the agency failed.

 

What is the disposition of the Indian wood products and associated guitars seized in August, 2011, and why didn't the DoJ release discuss it?

They probably didn;t discuss it beacuse most of the world is not obsessed with the fate of a few palletes of rosewood. The disposition depends on the nature of the seizure. if it is by its nature a prohibited product , it will be destroyed. Howver it appears that the product in generally is legal for import, but not without the degree of local finishing that indian law requires, I doubt it will have to be destroyed. It can probably be resold at auction as seized property. Gibson could probably bid.

 

One can only specuslate thast the purpose of the 2011 attack on the Nashville plant was intimidation, plain & simple.

No - I can speculate as to many reasons, including "breaking the law." You may wish to speculate in that direction if it fits your political view of the world, as we all do.

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I still think it's ridiculous that an American company has to go to such lengths to protect India's (and other countries) wood trade (not the wood, mind you, but "The Trade").

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Perhaps the wood will be auctioned. I just have one more comment and then I'll disappear. It seems that something happened that an option was finally offered to Gibson. It is good that this matter has been resolved, as Searcy said earlier.

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Hah!! This is almost exactly what I expected. Fine, donation to wood preservation guys, forfeiture of illegal stuff. But I didn't think they'd have to admit that they did anything wrong. The government got everything they wanted except for people going to jail. That shows that the government had the goods on them - just like the facts in the affadavit for the search warrant seemed to indicate.

 

Somebody was going down.

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Hah!! This is almost exactly what I expected. Fine, donation to wood preservation guys, forfeiture of illegal stuff. But I didn't think they'd have to admit that they did anything wrong. The government got everything they wanted except for people going to jail. That shows that the government had the goods on them - just like the facts in the affadavit for the search warrant seemed to indicate.

 

Somebody was going down.

I'm inclined to agree. Henry's a very wealthy man. He can afford to absorb this punishment. Maybe now he will be more careful in following the letter of the law and more importantly, the craftsmen and other employees can function without concern or fear while turning out great guitars.

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I dunno if it was Gibson's decision or what they may have been talked into by an insurance carrier.

 

As I said, I've seen stuff happen that some folks would consider Martin's #3 - guilty and taking an easier way out than what might happen at trial - simply because it was significantly less expensive.

 

Perhaps my line of work makes me more cynical than most who'd suggest this side or that is "right." I've seen too often where "right" has meant little or nothing when it was gonna cost a lotta money.

 

Also, some prosecutorial teams may be so convinced they're right - whether they are or not - that it's obvious they'll run you to the Supreme Court even if you win. And if you go broke defending yourself, nobody cares.

 

As I said, I've seen more than a few cases like that. Unless the prosecutor literally drops dead in front of the bench pleading his case - which I've seen - they'll take it as far as they can. In the case of that one prosecutor, the case he took on as a badge of honor was quietly dismissed literally within days.

 

The human element is not to be ignored, although our current media environment tends to bring us all to take sides and to then do so.

 

My bottom line is that I'm not going to point fingers at anybody except a system into which it seems that we all pour an incredible amount of money.

 

m

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They probably didn;t discuss it beacuse most of the world is not obsessed with the fate of a few palletes of rosewood. The disposition depends on the nature of the seizure. if it is by its nature a prohibited product , it will be destroyed. Howver it appears that the product in generally is legal for import, but not without the degree of local finishing that indian law requires, I doubt it will have to be destroyed. It can probably be resold at auction as seized property. Gibson could probably bid.

 

The DoJ press release was very carefully written and deals soley with issues related to Madagascar-sourced woods. The omission of any discussion re: the August 2011 raid, and the seizure of Indian-sourced wood can't be coincidental. IOW, Gibson settles re: the 2009 Madagascar siezures, Gibson then gets it's Indian-sourced wood back and the DoJ considers itself lucky. Henry specifically stated he'd lost over $1M in siezed wood & guitars. Forfeiture of $262k in wood doesn't cover the nut.

 

The most likely scenario is that Henry had to call off the good fight because of the marketplace damage being done to Gibson as this continues. The use of sub-standard wood substitues, the laminated boards, etc. and the related negative word of mouth is doing incalculable harm to Gibson's reputation. It is indeed sad Henry didn't get his day in court, and even sadder that the DoJ apparently got away with their August 2011 Gestapo tactics.

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I thought he was going to wait another 100 days to see if we got a pro-freedom administration. Even if the facts or principals are on your side, it can be really hard to fight a government with unlimited time and (our) money if they decide to mess with you.

 

I hope they start using ebony again, or at least get back some left-handed ebony guitars that were seized. I've held off on ordering some customs since richlite seems too cheesy to me.

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With all due respect...

 

Regardless how wealthy one might be, the wolf pack of lawsuits, criminal or civil, by dedicated opponents can kill anything or anybody. Period.

 

What tends to bother me is how irrelevant truth and "justice" can become.

 

In my old days it was the leftward politicians and artists under fire by various government agencies. Now it's various businesses.

 

In the old days one could easily "prove" the illegal activities of many of those "leftist" politicians and artists, even as government resources might today "prove" any one of us is breaking any number of federal laws if one chose to put us under attack. That's a fact known to every law enforcement officer and prosecutor in the country.

 

It's only the young or overly idealistic who believe "justice" and "truth" will prevail in every case. Again, one's "politics" may at times be involved in one or another role of prosecutor or defendant, but... in cases such as this it's more often a matter of the human element and who decides why to go after somebody for an eighth of an inch of board approved in another country and then charged here under US law requiring law in another country be followed.

 

Byzantine? Yup. All the better to see just how long and how expensive it might be to play the game.

 

Anyone who thinks such stuff hasn't and doesn't affect each of us over some centuries - and the heck with this one case and believe what you will - IMHO one is being naive.

 

Sorry, I guess I'm way too cynical.

 

m

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Yup...cheaper in the long wrong to just pay the fine and plead guilty (....even if you're not )and be done with it.

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If the settlement was just a plea bargain Gibson accepted to get the thing over with and save tons of money and keep the business going that doesn't mean they were guilty...

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For what it's worth from a cynical journalist of nearly 50 years...

 

Plea bargains and settlements need not reflect reality, truth or what many of us would consider ethics.

 

E.g., I know of at least one instance where there was a criminal claim of police brutality with vid and other evidence that it was simply a predatory lawsuit. The insurance company settled - leaving the officer apparently "guilty" - because it was cheaper than going to court.

 

That's the sort of "business decision" involved in a lotta lawsuits, both criminal and civil...

 

Add to that, as usual there was a gag agreement so... the truth never came out. That's far too typical, IMHO.

 

m

 

Exactly. I once worked for a company that would on occasion find it self in court. Who was right or wrong never entered into the equation. Settling often proved the quickest and cheapest way to move on.

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This case could have gone on for years and cost Gibson hundreds of thousands more in legal fees than the settlement was. It was a smart business move. Now they can focus on making guitars without having the parasite known as the United States legal system slowly eating away at their profit margins...

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This case could have gone on for years and cost Gibson hundreds of thousands more in legal fees than the settlement was. It was a smart business move. Now they can focus on making guitars without having the parasite known as the United States legal system slowly eating away at their profit margins...

Gibson knew beforehand that what they were doing was illegal so they falsified documents to hide that fact. They did not describe the wood properly, used the wrong code # on the documents, and a third piece that I forget proves they are guilty. They tried to pass this off on a clerk who works for them but that clearly was a cover up. It is not a parasitic government they are just upholding a bipartisan law that is totaly fair.

When I find the article where I read this I will post it here.

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this part, from the above link, jumped out at me:

 

"The Government and Gibson acknowledge and agree that certain questions and inconsistencies now exist regarding the tariff classification of ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks pursuant to the Indian government's Foreign Trade Policy. Accordingly, the Government will not undertake enforcement actions related to Gibson's future orders, purchases, or imports of ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks from India, unless and until the Government of India provides specific clarification that ebony and rosewood fingerboard blanks are expressly prohibited by laws related to Indian Foreign Trade Policy. The Government agrees to provide Gibson notice of any such clarification from the Government of India in the future and a reasonable period of time (60 days or as otherwise agreed) to address the potential change in the understanding of the law as it relates to shipments received by or en route to Gibson."

 

very interesting!

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A "non-denial denial." Nowhere, and at no time, has Gibson refuted charges of their alleged involvement in willfully falsifying documents. The Legacy Act and the amount of finishing of fingerboards are relevant issues, but in this case, red herrings used by Henry J. to divert interested parties from some of the real issues of this case, from what I can tell.

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Wow.

 

I haven't read the whole thing yet, AND it IS long and deep reading, but what I have read thus far really points to Gubson's innocence rather than guilt.

 

For those who posted links, thanks for that.

 

I might point out that this dollar amount of 350,000 IS a lot of money, but also does not even approach what COULD have to be spent by either side. In preparing for a case, gathering evidence is one thing, but once you gather up what you have, you STILL have to gather what you don't have because your own personal knowledge (company knowledge) and your own documents don't cut it.

 

I would also point out that the feds ARE an unlimited resource when it comes to investigation. They are not only on the payroll, but they have the courts as a resource as well. "Discovery" doesn't hold a stick to taking your computers.

 

I doubt 350,000 does not cover what the feds have spent thus far. I don't actually know what it is or even have a good guess, but 350 is roughly wages for 4 govt. employees for a year and storage for 2.

 

If I try and not be "cynical", I would have to ask if this is an act of kindness on the part of the Feds, to ALLOW Gibson to have to pay ONLY 350,000. Or, if this is a resonable amount to be a realistic fine for what Gibson has done wrong. OR, this amount represents all the Feds could get out of Gibson from the "negotiations" to conclude the case, under threat of more raids and/or court battles.

 

The headlines should read, instead of things like "Gibson admits wrongdoing", "Gibson pays fine", something more like "Gibson pays extortion", if in fact that is what it is.

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I agree.

 

The thread title sucks.

 

And is misleading.

The thread title is the title of the AP story on the internet, not mine. I just put it in the heading. The OP content was also from The AP story, my only comment was wondering what changed.

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Guest farnsbarns

The thread title is the title of the AP story on the internet, not mine. I just put it in the heading. The OP content was also from The AP story, my only comment was wondering what changed.

 

Yep, and Gibson HAS conceded that it failed to act on the information given to them that the Madagascan Ebony was illegal. That in itself is illegal so they HAVE admitted wrong doing.

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This is just a waste of time and diskspace.

 

Can we please get back to talking music and guitars?

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