EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Indiana conservation officers arrested an Evansville man on Friday, November 20 after a year-long theft investigation.
Conservation officers say they found 17 victims in Gibson and Posey counties who have not received payment for their timber per agreements going back as far as 2018.
They say they arrested 40-year-old Christopher Collins who is currently being held in the Posey County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond.
According to a press release, conservation officers started their investigation in 2019 after receiving information that Collins had failed to pay for timber as agreed in Gibson County.
Through the investigation, officers say they learned that Collins didn’t pay more than $250,000 for the timber he bought over a two-year period.
Authorities say the investigation also revealed that Collins had operated under several different business names, including C&K Forestry Management LLC, C&K Forestry LLC, C&M Forestry LLC, Blackhaus Forestry LLC, and Collins Family Forestry.
This August, conservation officers executed arrest and search warrants on Collins at his residence for violations that happened in Gibson County.
Officers say they found information and evidence as a result of these warrants, which led to the discovery of victims.
Collins is facing several charges that include corrupt business influence, theft, check deception, failure to pay for timber as agreed, and unlicensed timber buyer.