US hardwood flooring giant facing Lacey Act pressure

26 February 2015

US hardwood flooring retailing giant Lumber Liquidators is potentially facing criminal charges under the Lacey Act for importing illegally harvested wood, according to a new filing by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company has been under federal investigation since September 2013, when the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) published a report alleging it imported large quantities of wood illegally sourced in the Russian Far East.

The SEC filing, stating that action is being contemplated against Lumber Liquidators, follows a recent announcement that a key Russian supplier of high value timber to Lumber Liquidators had been convicted in a Russian court hearing of 15 counts of illegal logging between 2010-2012.

The EIA report identifies the Russian company as a key supplier of valuable timber to a Chinese flooring manufacturer that produces Lumber Liquidators’ Virginia Millworks line of solid oak and birch hand-scraped flooring.