By  on October 26, 2011

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that Gem Mfg. LLC, based in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $1.8 million for illegally trading in black coral, which was being used in jewelry and sculptures and shipped into the U.S.

Gem, based in St. Thomas, is a high-end manufacturer of jewelry, art and sculpture that contain black coral. According to federal authorities, the vast majority of Gem’s sales are through galleries. Gem operated through several subsidiaries that did business in Florida, Nevada, California, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alaska and the Cayman Islands.

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