Timber company sued, accused of defrauding elders

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office filed a lawsuit against a Pike County-based timber company and six co-conspirators Wednesday.

District Attorney, David Cooke announced in a news conference that the case against Cox Land and Timber Inc. involves allegations of misrepresentation of both the type of timber harvested so it could pay landowners a reduced price for the timber.

The allegations involve at least 16 counties including Bibb, Baldwin, Dodge, Fayette, Green, Hancock, Henry, Jasper Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Newton, Pike, Spaulding, Talbot and Taliaferro.

The lawsuit claims 28 landowners were victims in the case, 17 of them were elderly.

“The defendants are alleged to have quoted between $15,000 and $30,000 for an elderly man’s timber. After the harvest, the man only received $6,686.82,” said David Cooke.

Agents with Georgia Forestry Commission served a search warrant Tuesday at Cox Land & Timber’s office in Pike County. John Barnhart Cox, 49, was charged with theft by deception and Jack David Uselton Jr., 49, was charged with misrepresenting the origin or ownership of timber.

This an ongoing investigation and the DA’s office says more arrests could be made.