The Justice Department announced that Young Living pleaded guilty to illegal trafficking of rosewood oil and spikenard oil in violation of the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act. They pleaded guilty and were sentenced to “a fine of $500,000, $135,000 in restitution, a community service payment of $125,000 for the conservation of protected species of plants used in essential oils, and a term of five years’ probation with special conditions.”
You can read the entire announcement from the Justice Department here: Essential Oils Company Sentenced for Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act Violations to Pay $760,000 in Fines, Forfeiture, and Community Service, and to Implement a Comprehensive Compliance Plan.
A few big points from the document include:
“While the natural resource violations by certain employees of Young Living were intentional and substantial, the Company’s decision to conduct an internal investigation, voluntarily disclose the initial violations to government enforcement authorities, and cooperate throughout the ensuing investigation is to be commended,” said U.S. Attorney John W. Huber for the District of Utah. “This sentence reflects both the seriousness of the offenses and the acceptance of responsibility and cooperation by the Company.”
“The Company lacked an internal compliance program or formal procedures, training, or means to review and resolve problems and identify and stop potential violations. As a result, the Company hired outside counsel to conduct an internal investigation into the violations due to the illegal harvesting and shipping of plants that occurred in Peru and Ecuador. On July 20, 2015, once the internal investigation was complete, the Company made an initial written voluntary disclosure to the Government of various facts indicating their potentially illegal violations.”
“The investigation also revealed that between November 2014 and January 2016, the Company purchased over 1,100 kilograms of rosewood oil from a supplier/importer in the United States without conducting sufficient due diligence to verify lawful sourcing of that oil.
The Government calculates the fair market retail value of the plant products involved in the violations and relevant conduct, including but not limited to product equaling approximately 1,899.75 liters of rosewood oil, to be more than $3.5 million but not more than $9 million.”
For a full list of Critically Endangered, Endangered, Threatened, Potentially Threatened, Nearly Threatened, Vulnerable, Depleted, Diminishing, Much Reduced, In Decline, Protected, Scarce, Becoming Rare, Rare, Destructive Harvesting, Locally Extinct, Facing Extinction, and Not Threatened Crops see Appendix 1 in The Art, Science and Business of Aromatherapy.