Texas Notary Nabbed for Timber Theft
June 8, 2015 | 4:25 pm CDT

Photo By Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

BATON ROUGE, LA -- Accused of timber theft by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), Centennial Rose Stewart, a notary from Bivins, TX, was arrested and charged with a felony.

According to LDAF, Stewart is accused of notarizing 15 timber cutting agreements for James Nelson of Vivian, LA, which ultimately resulted in the unlawful sale of 80 acres of timber located in Rodessa, LA, for approximately $35,000.

Investigators said that Nelson had claimed to be an heir with legal rights to the timber. However, the agents also said he had falsely signed the names of other heirs who had been deceased for up to 40 years.

“While conducting this investigation, our agents recovered timber cutting agreements that were all notarized in Texas, but several of the timber cutting agreements were allegedly signed by individuals who were deceased," said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. "These timber cutting agreements were then presented to a logger as legal documents.”

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Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network editor. She has more than 20 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing, and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.