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Criminal Charges Sought Against Lumber Liquidators

May 4, 2015 Blog,Product Liability

In an ongoing investigation over imported products, the Department of Justice is seeking criminal charges against beleaguered flooring retailer, Lumber Liquidators. Justice Department Seeks Criminal Charges

Charges are being filed against the company under the Lacy Act, which prohibits imports of illegally sourced wood. Criminal Charges

“On September 26, 2013, sealed search warrants were executed at the company’s corporate offices in Toano and Richmond, Virginia by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The search warrants requested information, primarily documentation, related to the importation of certain of the company’s wood flooring products in accordance with the Lacey Act,” the  company stated in an SEC filing.

The charges come on the heels of an explosive 60 Minutes segment which revealed that most of the company’s laminate flooring is made in China, and may fail to meet U.S. health and safety standards as it contains high levels of the carcinogen, formaldehyde.

Shortly after the show aired, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission began investigating Lumber Liquidators, the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in North America

The company is now facing more than 100 class action lawsuits over laminate  floors made in China – the majority of them filed since the 60 minutes segment aired in March

Lumber Liquidators, which had estimated annual sales in 2014 in excess of $1 billion has over 340 stores in 46 states, including 36 in California.

In fact, the company installs more then 100 million square feet of laminate flooring – a cheaper alternative to hardwood – in American homes each year. It has been estimated that Lumber Liquidators products with dangerously high levels of formaldehyde has been installed in thousands of homes across the U.S.