NEWS
10/22/2015 14:39 EDT | Updated 10/22/2016 01:12 EDT

Flooring company pleads guilty to environmental crimes related to illegally sourced wood

NORFOLK, Va. — Lumber Liquidators has pleaded guilty to environmental crimes related to its importation of illegally sourced wood products.

The Toano, Virginia-based company pleaded guilty Thursday to four misdemeanours and one felony and agreed to pay $13.2 million to end a federal investigation. Sentencing was set for Feb. 1 in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

According to prosecutors, much of the illegally imported hardwood flooring was manufactured in China from timber illegally logged in eastern Russia, the habitat for the world's last remaining Siberian tigers and Amur leopards. The government said the company should have known the wood was illegally sourced.

The plea agreement is unrelated to the controversy over some of Lumber Liquidators' laminate flooring from China, which CBS' "60 Minutes" has reported contains high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde.

The Associated Press