Raymond Vertort of Stephenson has been sentenced to probation and a suspended jail sentence for stealing over $100,000 in timber from the State of Michigan. Vertort owns R&J Logging an independent logging company and was bound over for trial in July. He pleaded guilty to trespassing with damages to state land – $20,000 or more in October. R&J Logging had a contract to enter and log on state land, however Vertort allegedly marked and took lumber that was not allowed under the contract and in areas not included in the agreement. Vertort was sentenced before Judge Chris Ninomiya, in Menominee Circuit Court, to three years’ probation and a suspended six months in jail, plus costs and restitution. He is also now barred from bidding on DNR logging contracts as part of the plea agreement. Vertort will pay $119,529.40 in restitution, $50,000 of that was due by sentencing. A restitution hearing will be allowed to determine if previous payments will be credited to the restitution amount.
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I have never found anything that has made me happier than journalism. The ability to inform the public is one of the most rewarding things anyone could do. While I have had many amazing opportunities in my career, I am finally back doing what I call a passion. The ability to be my true authentic self in black and white. I am a wife, mother of seven, grandmother to four, and I enjoy reading, collecting typewriters, movies, spending time with my family and our famous game nights!
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