James Richard Guy, a 53-year-old timber buyer from Fayette, Alabama, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for defrauding and stealing $81,000 from four Fayette County landowners during the sale of timber. Guy was also ordered to make restitution totaling $81,000.
According to Law Enforcement Chief Craig Hill with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC), Guy signed contracts with each of the landowners to purchase their timber and collected money from the sales, but never paid the landowners. Hill also noted that District Attorney J. Chris McCool and Assistant District Attorney Andy Hamlin of the 24th Judicial Circuit are to be commended for their unwavering support of landowners and the forestry community.
“Most individual forest landowners will only sell timber once or twice in their lifetime on a given property. Therefore it is important that they make wise decisions concerning the sale of their timber,” said State Forester Linda Casey. “To assist landowners in understanding the issues involved and avoid being exploited during this process, the AFC has designed a helpful publication. The ‘Selling Your Timber’ brochure can be accessed on our website at www.forestry.alabama.gov or by calling your county AFC office.”
The Alabama Forestry Commission is committed to reducing forestry-related crimes which generate losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to landowners, the timber industry, and Alabama’s economy. The AFC provides a “Forest Crimes Hotline" so that citizens can call and report wildland arson, theft of timber, and theft of harvesting equipment. This toll-free number is 1-800-222-2927.
Contact: Craig Hill at 334.850.3665