Man gets 15 months for stealing from nonprofit

A Westminster man was sentenced to 15 months in prison Friday for helping to steal more than $1 million from the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, a federally funded non-profit that donates civil legal services to those who can't afford it.

Wendell "Sonny" Jackson, 60, opened a phony office supply business in the late 1990's at the direction of LAB's longtime chief of finance, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office, and the two of them spent the next decade overcharging the non-profit, which discovered the scheme in 2008.

Jackson's share of the illegally obtained money was between $75,000 and $100,000, but he was ordered to pay restitution of $1.14 million and serve 100 hours of community service. His co-defendant Benjamin "Bennie" King, the former chief of finance who took the bulk of the proceeds, pleaded guilty in May to stealing from a program that receives federal funds. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 14.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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