COLUMBIA, SC- South Carolina Forestry Commission investigators have arrested a North Carolina man on two different charges relating to a timber deal in which the victim was underpaid.
Tim Gosnell, 40, ofRutherford,NC, failed to pay a Cherokee Co., SC landowner within 45 days for timber cut on his land. He was also cited for failing to provide proper documentation from the mill (proper scale ticket information) for the timber he harvested and transported for the landowner.
After partial payment of $1,000 (a fraction of what is owed, documents show), the victim sent a certified letter to Gosnell demanding the remainder. SCFC law enforcement personnel became involved soon thereafter.
Gosnell is out on bond. Investigators say additional charges are possible and the South Carolina Forestry Commission is urging landowners who may have complaints against him to contact them at (803) 896-8838.
Because forest-related industries have a $17 billion annual impact on our state's economy and because 88 percent of the forestland in SC is privately owned, SCFC actively enforces timber laws and aggressively investigates criminal complaints.
While the vast majority of timber harvesting companies is reputable and these crimes are not the norm, landowners are reminded that their timber is valuable. Before any sale or contract, landowners should contact the Commission or contact a consulting forester to begin the process of having their woodlands evaluated. Landowners should never take unsolicited first offers for their timber.
More information can be found at www.trees.sc.gov.