A western North Carolina man was arrested after forestry officials said he failed to pay an Upstate landowner what he owed him.
The South Carolina Forestry Commission charged Tim Gosnell, 40, of Rutherfordton, with two counts related to the underpaid timber deal.
Forestry agents said Gosnell agreed to chop down and transport timber for the Cherokee County landowner, but when he failed to pay the full amount for the timbers' sale and provide proper documentation from the mill for the harvested timber, the owner contacted forestry officials.
While he initially paid the owner $1,000, forestry officials said Gosnell did not pay him what else he was owed, which they were still working to determine how much money that was.
Authorities said Gosnell was charged with failure to pay the landowner within 45 days and one count of violating the scale ticket law. He was released from jail on bond.
Forestry officials said timber crimes are not the norm, but because the forestry industry in South Carolina has an annual $17 billion impact on the state's economy and 88 percent of forest lands are privately owned, they actively investigate criminal complaints.
Investigators said additional charges are possible and the South Carolina Forestry Commission is urging landowners who may have complaints against Gosnell to contact them at 803-896-8838.
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Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
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