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U.S. company to pay more than $13 mln for importing timber illegally logged in Russia

October 23, 2015, 4:27 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The company is due to be sentenced on February 1, 2016

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WASHINGTON, October 23. /TASS/. Virginia-based company Lumber Liquidators has pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. environmental legislation by importing timber illegally logged in Russia’s Far East through Chinese intermediaries. That was the result of Operation Oakenshield conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"Lumber Liquidators was charged earlier this month in the Eastern District of Virginia with one felony count of importing goods through false statements and four misdemeanor violations of the Lacey Act, which makes it a crime to import timber that was taken in violation of the laws of a foreign country and to transport falsely-labeled timber across international borders into the United States," the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

"Lumber Liquidators will pay $13.15 million, including $7.8 million in criminal fines, $969,175 in criminal forfeiture and more than $1.23 million in community service payments," the report said.

It noted that "this is the largest financial penalty for timber trafficking under the Lacey Act" and "the first felony conviction related to the import or use of illegal timber."

The company is due to be sentenced on February 1, 2016.

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