While most companies are probably not looking to import biblical antiquities, Hobby Lobby’s $3 million payment to settle allegations that it bought smuggled Iraqi relics offers important guidance for legal departments dealing with supply-chain issues, lawyers said.
In a case that federal prosecutors described as “fraught with red flags,” the arts-and-crafts retail chain broke federal laws governing forfeiture and the importation of Iraqi cultural property when it imported about 5,500 cuneiform tablets and other clay artifacts that it purchased in 2010 for an antiquities collection. In an agreement between the company and the U.S. Department of Justice reached last week, Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby also pledged to hand over the relics.
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