How to Avoid Timber Company Fraud

After a Pike County timber company got sued earlier this week for allegedly defrauding homeowners in more than a dozen counties, WMAZ is looking for ways you can avoid getting duped.

Troy Climber with the Georgia Forestry Commission helps survey properties looking to help people sell trees to timber companies.

He knows what each tree is roughly worth. He says timber is a huge industry for the state of Georgia.

“It’s a $35 billion engine for making money in this state,” said Climber

Two men, John Barnhart Cox and Jack Uselton Junior, are accused of using their timber company Cox Land and Timber Inc. to take advantage of at least 28 people, paying them less money than their trees were worth.

The Georgia Forestry Commission recommends that you get a contract signed that includes things like pricing, liability, and even harvesting methods before entering into an agreement with a timber company.

Climber says that a lot of people don’t understand the power this paper can have until it’s too late.

“We don’t want one bad instance to define forestry,” said Climber.

While Climber’s services are not free, the commission says forestry consultants can help landowners get started.

They can find you a reputable buyer, facilitate that contract and give you an estimate to make sure you don’t get duped.


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