Cypress Creek CEO stepping down in wake of questions - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Cypress Creek CEO stepping down in wake of questions

James Lawhorne and his supporters during an interview with WAFF. James Lawhorne and his supporters during an interview with WAFF.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The owner of Cypress Creek Organic Farms said he's stepping down because of his criminal past.

The owner, James Lawhorne, had about 50 supporters with him during a scheduled interview with WAFF Tuesday. The interview was requested after the Better Business Bureau issued an alert on Cypress Creek Organic Farms last week.

The company, at this point, has no complaints on file with the BBB, only questions from the BBB that have not been answered.

Cypress Creek asks prospective affiliate farmers to invest $12,950 for a greenhouse, 300 tomato plants, training and organic certification. 

WAFF began asking questions after the BBB issued an alert. The BBB said it wants proof farmers have made $25,000 growing tomatoes as the company claims in its radio ad. Federal law says companies have to back up such claims.

In 1987, Lawhorne used the alias Paul Rodgers to open a bank account for a business in North Carolina called Videoland.

After getting checks for the account - he altered check to read "Cashier's check" - and then used those check to make purchases at businesses. He wrote checks for more than the amount in the account, including one for more than $12,000.

The indictment included 10 counts of bank fraud. He pleaded guilty to two counts and was placed on probation and ordered to pay more than $34,000 in restitution.

Currently, Lawhorne faces four criminal charges in Rutherford County, Tennessee.

The circuit clerk at the courthouse in Murfreesboro said he faces three counts of forgery and one count of criminal simulation.

Lawhorne has a hearing on these charges in January.

His supporters today told us they don't care about his criminal past.

Lawhorne sent WAFF a text message after he told me he would consult with his attorney on his radio ad and website, now he plans to take down the $25,000 claim.

He also told us, because of his past he would stepping down as CEO of the company.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • DeQuincy house fire contained Saturday afternoon

    DeQuincy house fire contained Saturday afternoon

    Saturday, July 22 2017 5:55 PM EDT2017-07-22 21:55:49 GMT
    1237 Dougharty Road (Source: KPLC)1237 Dougharty Road (Source: KPLC)

    Multiple fire departments responded to a house fire in DeQuincy early Saturday afternoon.

    DeQuincy Fire Chief Johnny Copeland said the fire department received a call about smoke coming from the house on 1237 Dougharty Road sometime around noon.

    More >>

    Multiple fire departments responded to a house fire in DeQuincy early Saturday afternoon.

    DeQuincy Fire Chief Johnny Copeland said the fire department received a call about smoke coming from the house on 1237 Dougharty Road sometime around noon.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More showers and thunderstorms Sunday before the heat returns this week.

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: More showers and thunderstorms Sunday before the heat returns this week.

    Saturday, July 22 2017 5:03 PM EDT2017-07-22 21:03:51 GMT
    Mostly cloudy with scattered storms SundayMostly cloudy with scattered storms Sunday

    By sunset this evening the temperatures will start to go down and rain will come to an end. The showers always lose their energy around sunset and weaken. Overnight we will be left with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. Rain chances are down to 20% overnight. Sunday will be another day with more showers and thunderstorms. We will also have mostly cloudy skies. This will result in lower temperatures compared to the previous few days. 

    More >>

    By sunset this evening the temperatures will start to go down and rain will come to an end. The showers always lose their energy around sunset and weaken. Overnight we will be left with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. Rain chances are down to 20% overnight. Sunday will be another day with more showers and thunderstorms. We will also have mostly cloudy skies. This will result in lower temperatures compared to the previous few days. 

    More >>
  • Cargo trailer fire on I-10 WB at Westlake exit; exit blocked

    Cargo trailer fire on I-10 WB at Westlake exit; exit blocked

    Saturday, July 22 2017 3:23 PM EDT2017-07-22 19:23:19 GMT
    Fire at Westlake exit (Source: Ashton Richard Sr.)Fire at Westlake exit (Source: Ashton Richard Sr.)

    A cargo trailer caught fire late Saturday morning on I-10 westbound near the Westlake exit. 

    Westlake Police got a call at 10:22 a.m. of the cargo trailer smoking on the interstate, said Westlake Police Chief Chris Wilrye.

    More >>

    A cargo trailer caught fire late Saturday morning on I-10 westbound near the Westlake exit. 

    Westlake Police got a call at 10:22 a.m. of the cargo trailer smoking on the interstate, said Westlake Police Chief Chris Wilrye.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly