The U.S. attorney’s office said today that three Little Rock men had pleaded guilty to making more than $1 million by defrauding a program meant to help distressed businesses.

Pleas to conspiracy to commit wire fraud were entered by Mark Gregory Jackson Sr., 39; Jimmy Don Winemiller Jr., 53, and Don “Terrell” Stephens Jr., 39, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland’s office.

The scheme used the federal surplus property donation program in which nonprofits, veterans groups and others can acquire government surplus below market rates if they have a use for the property and promise not to rent or resell it.

The three obtained property under false pretenses and resold at with a steep markup.

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Jackson, doing business as Kingridge Enterprises, is accused of submitting forms with forged signatures of a nephew who lived elsewhere and had no connection with the business. He bought surplus, usually heavy duty construction equipment. Much of it was sold to Winemiller, doing business as Cow Lake Construction. He sold it at higher prices, sometimes with aid from Stephens, who got a fee for finding buyers.

The government said Jackson acquired hundreds of pieces of surplus for $1.5 million and sold it for more than $2.5 million. The three will be sentenced later. All have agreed to forfeitures — $1,028,142 for Jackson; $250,000 for Winemiller and $125,697 for Stephens.

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ps: old timers might find the name Jimmy Winemiller familiar. Google it.