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Fake Hunting Lease Leads To Arrest Of French Lick Man
Updated November 12, 2015 7:38 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(ORANGE CO.) - A French Lick man is facing charges after allegedly drafting fake hunting leases and allowing his clients to trespass on multiple properties in Orange County, including the French Lick Resort property.

Indiana Conservation officers arrested 36-year-old Samuel Hughes Monday on a charge of theft, a Level 6 felony.

According to police, while responding to a trespass complaint on French Lick Resort property, conservation officers learned that multiple hunters from Michigan and other states had paid Hughes, owner of Nature's Ridge Whitetails Outfitters, in exchange for a one-year exclusive hunting lease.

However, officers say Hughes never had permission to lease the properties, and had drafted the written contracts with unsuspecting out-of-state hunters for fees exceeding thousands of dollars.

Indiana Conservation Officers executed a search warrant on Hughes' cell phone, and during a subsequent interview, Hughes confessed to his involvement in the operation.

The investigation is ongoing, and additional witnesses and victims are being sought. Anyone that believes they may have been a victim of this operation or with additional information pertinent to this investigation is encouraged to contact Indiana Conservation Officers' Central Dispatch at (812) 837-9536.

All charges are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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