A person who traffics in plants or plant products in violation of the Lacey Act trafficking prohibitions could be subject to civil or criminal penalties as follows:
Any person who violates the trafficking prohibitions and in the exercise of due care should know that the plant or plant product was taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of, or in a manner unlawful under, any underlying law, treaty, or regulation, may be assessed a civil administrative penalty of not more than $10,000.However, when the violation involved plants or plant products with a market value less than $350, and involves only the transportation, acquisition or receipt of plants or plant products , the penalty shall not exceed the maximum provided for violation of the underlying law, treaty, or regulation of the United States, any Indian tribal law, any foreign law, or any law or regulation of any State, if that maximum is less than $10,000.
Any person who knowingly violates the trafficking prohibitions by:
Any person who knowingly violates the trafficking prohibitions and in the exercise of due care should have known that the plant or plant product was taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of, or in a manner unlawful under, any underlying law, treaty, or regulation, could be subject to criminal penalties. For an individual, the criminal penalties are not more than 1 year in prison and a fine of $100,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. For a corporation the criminal penalties are not more than 5 years of probation and fine of $200,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. Restitution and forfeitures may also be imposed.
Suspension, modification, or cancellation are authorized for any Federal hunting or fishing license, permit, or stamp, or any license or permit authorizing a person to import or export fish or wildlife or plants (other than a permit or license issued pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) or to operate a quarantine station or rescue center for imported wildlife or plants , issued to any person who is convicted of a criminal violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulation issued hereunder. The government shall not be liable for the payments of any compensation, reimbursement, or damages in connection with the modification, suspension, or revocation of any licenses, permits, stamps, or other agreements pursuant to this section.
The Lacey Act’s civil forfeiture provisions are enforced on a strict liability basis. If illegal plants, including timber, or a product made from illegal plants (and/or illegal wildlife or fish) are brought into the U.S., that plant or plant product may be seized, whether or not the person from whom it is seized knew of the illegal nature of the product. Nonetheless, the government must still show that a plant, fish, wildlife, or product thereof has been imported or received in violation of a State or foreign law or regulation. Criminal forfeiture also extends to instrumentalities of the crime, such as vehicles, guns, vessels and even factories or sawmills, if a felony conviction is obtained.