Five indicted for exploiting elderly landowners, timber fraud case

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County grand jurors voted to indict five defendants in a timber fraud case.

According to a news release from the Macon-Bibb DA’s office, the indictment happened on Tuesday and involved a number of elderly victims.

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Bibb County grand jury voted to indict the following descendants:

  • John Barnhardt Cox, 50, of Williamson
  • Brenda Owings Jones, 64, of Zebulon
  • Jonathon Ashley May, 45, of Williamson
  • Jack David Uselton, 49, of McDonough
  • James Lafayette Weldon, 47, of Evans

The Bibb County Superior Court charged each of the defendants with the following:

  • Four counts of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
  • 16 counts of exploitation of an elder person
  • Five counts of theft by deception
  • Five counts of misrepresenting the origin or ownership of timber or agricultural commodities
According to the indictment filed in Bibb County Superior Court:

The defendants exploited landowners for monetary gain through operations of the Pike County-based Cox Land & Timber Inc. between May 2016 and July 2018

The defendants entered into timber sales contracts, pressuring elderly landowners into signing contracts agreeing to prices under fair market value for timber harvesting and timber sale.

The indictment names 16 victims ranging in age from 66 to 96.