February 20, 2020
LANSING – The owner of two Michigan timber harvesting companies – Great Lakes Forest Products and Northern Timber Producers Inc. – was arraigned Wednesday on eight felony counts of embezzlement after lying to landowners about the amount of timber he took from their properties to avoid paying them the full value owed.
Norman Kasubowski, 53, of Petoskey, was arrested by the Michigan State Police early Wednesday morning and charged with eight counts of embezzlement by an agent of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000. Each charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater.
He was arraigned before Judge Michael Cooper in 87-A District Court in Gaylord, Otsego County.
“Anyone who enters into a contract with the operator of a business should be treated fairly by that business – not cheated out of what’s rightfully theirs,” Nessel said. “When Michigan companies fail in their obligation to tell the truth to their customers, they must answer for their actions.”
Kasubowski is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference at 1 p.m. Feb. 27 and for a preliminary exam at 1:30 p.m. March 5.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants, but one may be available from the booking agency, the Otsego County Sheriff's Office.