Justice Department fines Young Living, alleging illegal trafficking of rosewood, spikenard oils

By Mark Iandolo | Oct 2, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Department of Justice announced Sept. 18 that Young Living Essential Oils L.C. was fined $500,000, plus $135,000 in restitution and $125,000 for a community service payment, after allegedly illegally trafficking rosewood oil and spikenard oil.

“The importation of illegally harvested wood and timber products harms law-abiding American companies and workers and threatens forest resources around the world,” said acting assistant attorney general Jeffrey H. Wood of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. “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.”

Young Living employees allegedly harvested, transported and distilled rosewood and spikenard in Peru, Ecuador and Nepal, and eventually transported the products to the United States. The alleged scheme took place from June 2010 to October 2014.

“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.

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