Defining “asset forfeiture” with Gibson’s General Counsel

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Uncategorized


Indian Rosewood came to Gibson by source for major instrument manufacturers 

Not many can tell by looking at a picture of a smiling President Obama that his Les Paul is made from Indian Rosewood, unless you know your Gibson guitars.

Close to a million dollars worth of Indian Rosewood fretwork, guitars, electronics and productivity was siezed last week in a federal raid conducted as part of a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice, according to Gibson’s General Counsel, Bruce Mitchell.

A request to recover Gibson merchandise siezed in the 2009 raid was stayed by the DOJ, pending a criminal investigation.  A second raid commenced this August for contrband possession of imported Indian Rosewoods from the largest wood supplier in the world.

To analyze current events, we are first joined by Eapen Thampy, Executive Director for Americans for Forfeiture Reform to explain what asset forefeiture is and how it affects businesses.

LATER.. The mysterious role of the Forest Stewarship Council is clarified in a revealing conversation with Gibson’s General Counsel, Bruce Miller. We touch on NGO involvement in submitting reports and recommendations for regulatory violations involving seizure.


Eapen Thampy, Executive Director, Americans for Forfeiture Reform

Bruce Mitchell, General Counsel, Gibson Guitars 

WSJ: Forestry Law Splits Wood Industry 

NPR: Why Gibson was raided by the Justice Department 

Business Insider: Gibson guitar CEOsays Feds told him problems would “Go Away” if labor done in Madagascar


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