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North Stratford man charged with cheating pair in lumber deal

LANCASTER — A Coos County Superior Court grand jury has indicted a 37-year-old North Stratford man on six charges, including two counts of deceptive forestry and business practices, after authorities said he cheated two North Country residents in a lumber deal.

David Laney, of 65 Hollow Road in North Stratford is charged with theft by deception between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014, at North Stratford for understating the amount of wood he cut on the property of Lorraine and Linwood Potter. Laney, according to the indictment, cheated the Potters out of “trees and money for trees,” to which they were entitled, in an amount greater than $1,500.

The grand jury also indicted Laney on two counts of filing false financial reports with the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration in April 2013 in connection with the Potter transaction.

The grand jury also returned an indictment against him for “cutting timber near certain waters,” a Class A misdemeanor, for logging within 50 feet of a brook on the Potter property.

The deceptive practices charges, also Class A misdemeanors, stem from Laney’s “failure to produce a written contract” in the Potter transaction, according to the indictments.

Theft by deception is a Class A felony, and the two counts involving the DRA are Class B felonies.

In another indictment the grand jury handed up during its August session, David R. Richardson, 44, of 55 Guilmette St. in Berlin is charged with stalking between June 23-24 in Berlin.

Richardson had been convicted on a previous stalking charge within the past seven years, and was also out on bail from Coos County Superior Court when the new charge was filed, according to the indictment.

Richardson, according to the indictment, targeted a “specific individual” for stalking, but his actions were not limited to that person.

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