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Westminster businessman sentenced to 15 months

A Westminster businessman who conspired to steal more than $1 million from the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau over the course of a decade has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Wendell “Sonny” Jackson, 60, who was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake, also got three years’ probation and must pay $1.14 million in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.

Jackson’s co-conspirator, former Legal Aid chief financial officer Benjamin L. “Bennie” King Jr., will be sentenced next month. King and Jackson overcharged Legal Aid $1.2 million for office supplies and kept 85 percent of the proceeds. The two men pleaded guilty in September.

Jackson, who ran a Baltimore check-cashing business, set up an office supply shell company at King’s behest that received checks from Legal Aid. Jackson would buy the supplies elsewhere, and he and King kept the difference between the amount of the check and what Jackson spent on supplies.