Friday, September 22, 2017 by Russel Davis

The U.S. Justice Department recently announced that Lehi, Utah-based essential oils company Young Living has pleaded guilty over federal misdemeanor charges due to its illegal trafficking of rosewood oil and spikenard oil, which violated the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act.

The federal agency noted that Young Living voluntarily disclosed its rosewood oil violations and has been coordinating with the authorities. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the company is to settle $500,000 in fines and $135,000 in restitution.

The essential oils firm was also sentenced to a community service payment of $125,000, which was intended for the conservation of protected species of plants used in their manufacturing processes.

In addition, the company was penalized with a term of five years’ probation with special conditions, which include:

  • Audits
  • Implementation of a corporate compliance plan
  • Publication of statements regarding its convictions.

“The importation of illegally harvested wood and timber products harms law-abiding American companies and workers and threatens forest resources around the world. Our Division was proud to work alongside the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Utah, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Homeland Security to bring this case to a positive conclusion,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Environment and Natural Resources Division said in a statement.

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