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Four-year fraud case sentence imposed

The Baltimore Sun

A federal judge yesterday sentenced the former accountant for convicted pension manager Nathan A. Chapman Jr. to more than four years in prison for defrauding investors in an obesity treatment clinic.

According to his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to wire fraud and money laundering, Wilkins McNair Jr., 49, of Ellicott City also failed to pay federal taxes. In addition to the 51-month prison term, U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis ordered McNair to pay restitution of $1,369,000 to the investors he scammed.

According to court papers, McNair took for his personal benefit almost all of the roughly $1.5 million entrusted to his care by investors in the clinic. McNair also failed to pay to the Internal Revenue Service more than a half-million dollars in taxes between 1999 and 2005. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the wire fraud charge alone.

McNair's plea was not directly related to the charges against Chapman, who was convicted more than two years ago of using state pension money to buy stock in his companies and prop up their value. A federal judge sentenced Chapman to 7 1/2 years in prison. But after an appeal, Chapman in February received a reduced prison term of slightly more than five years.

According to trial testimony and court records, McNair was the accountant for Chapman's company after it fired Arthur Andersen.

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