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Lumber Liquidators Says DOJ Seeks Criminal Charges Over Imports

Lumber Liquidators says the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking criminal charges against it in an investigation over imported products.

The revelation in a regulatory filing on Wednesday follows a 60 Minutes report last month that said the company's Chinese-made laminate flooring products have unsafe levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. At that time, Lumber Liquidators took issue with the methods used to draw that conclusion.

Lumber Liquidators said in the regulatory filing that agents from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service executed sealed search warrants at its corporate offices in Toano and Richmond, Va., on Sept. 26, 2013, related to the import of certain wood flooring products under the Lacey Act, which bans illegally sourced wood products.

"In recent communications, the DOJ indicated that it is seeking criminal charges under the Lacey Act," the company said.

NPR's Jim Zarroli tells our Newcast unit that the company also faces more than 100 class-action suits stemming from the controversy over the source of its laminate floor products.

The company's regulatory filing also announced an unexpected loss for the quarter as well as the departure of its chief financial officer.

Editor's Note: Lumber Liquidators is an NPR sponsor whose credits are on air and on NPR.org.