Logger accused of under-reporting Belmont timber cut fails to come up with $20k and will face trial

BELMONT — A Farmington logger charged with two counts of deceptive forestry business practices and one count of filing a false report to the Department of Revenue Administration told Belknap Superior Court yesterday that he cannot meet his obligation as outlined in a plea bargain agreement and would proceed to trial.

Dan Cutter, 49, allegedly didn't pay a Belmont land owner for the value of the logs he removed from his property as was iterated in a contract dated September 17, 2011.

Cutter had originally agreed to plead "no contest" to the charges, accept a two-to-four year suspended sentence in the N.H. State Prison and pay the property owner $20,000 on the date the plea was accepted by the court.

According to motions filed in court, Cutter allegedly logged the Belmont land, under reported the quantify and species cut to the Department of Revenue and failed to compensate the land owners.

When the landowner asked Cutter to produce the mill scale slips, he allegedly failed to do so.

The matter was investigated by N.H. Division of Forestry rangers working with an investigator from the Department of Revenue Administration.

Together, the rangers and the DRA said they uncovered the alleged criminal conduct by comparing the quantity and species filed with the DRA report to the actual scale slips from the mill.

The state contends that the full value of the logs that were cut was not remunerated to the landowner.

Specifically, he is charged with over cutting and under reporting wood harvested from the Belmont landowner, as well as depriving the town of Belmont with the appropriate amount of money that should have been paid in timber taxes.

In January of this year, Cutter said he needed more time to raise the $20,000 he agreed to pay the land owner and asked for a 30-day extension of the date he agreed to plead "no contest."

The court rescheduled the matter for yesterday but Cutter's attorney filed a notice of agreement saying his client had still not raised all of the money to reimburse the landowner and notified the court that the case be scheduled for trial.

Judge James O'Neill agreed but as of yesterday, no date has been set for Cutter's trial.