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A federal judge on Friday sentenced Mark Gregory Jackson Sr., 63, of Little Rock to five years in prison for orchestrating a scheme that defrauded a government program intended to help nonprofits, municipal agencies and disadvantaged businesses.

In July 2018, Jackson and two other men pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Federal Surplus Property Donation Program, which is offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration to help qualifying groups acquire government surplus at below-market rates unavailable to the general public.

Recipients are required to demonstrate a legitimate need for the surplus, and they must agree not to sell, lease or rent it.

Jackson admitted submitting forged signatures to gain access to the program. The forms he submitted falsely claimed that his disadvantaged nephew owned and operated his business, Kingridge Enterprises Inc. of Little Rock, when the nephew actually didn't do any work for the company and lived more than 100 miles away, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Once in the program, Jackson frequently purchased equipment, such as heavy-duty construction equipment, and sold much of it to Jimmy Don Winemiller Jr, 55, an equipment dealer doing business as Cow Lake Construction. Winemiller in turn sold the equipment again, at a still-greater markup, to peer equipment dealers or construction outfits, at times enlisting the help of Don "Terrell" Stephens Jr., 40, who found buyers in return for a brokering fee.

The scheme was carried out between 2011 and 2015.

In October, U.S. District Judge Brian Miller sentenced Stephens to 30 days in jail and ordered him to forfeit more than $125,000. Then in March, Miller sentenced Winemiller to 20 months in prison and ordered him to forfeit nearly $275,000.

On Friday, Miller ordered Jackson to forfeit nearly $275,000.

At the men's plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Morgan said that over the course of the scheme, Jackson acquired hundreds of pieces of surplus equipment for $1.5 million, which he sold for more than $2.5 million.

Morgan prosecuted the case after a multiyear investigation by the Memphis field office of the FBI, the Office of Inspector General for the administration and the Office of Inspector General for the General Services Administration.

NW News on 08/18/2019

Print Headline: Fraud plot over surplus gets LR man prison term

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