- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Little Rock man has admitted selling tax credits for refined coal that didn’t exist.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said 61-year-old Stephen Parks committed wire fraud and agreed Wednesday to a 27-month prison term. Prosecutors alleged Parks’ Global Coal LLC had no coal to produce, refine or sell, yet still took money from an investor.

If U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes rejects the deal, which includes Parks forfeiting $7.5 million and a 2008 Bentley, Parks can change his plea.

Parks’ lawyers said the government essentially halted Parks’ other coal businesses and that he was in the process of producing refined coal. They said Parks had mining equipment and supplies “at the coal mine in western Arkansas today.”

The credits are part of a 2004 jobs program.

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