Yearbook seller gets prison time

May 31, 2008

A yearbook salesman who admitted bilking several high schools and colleges - including the Naval Academy - out of more than $400,000 was sentenced yesterday to 27 months in federal prison, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Joseph M. Wenzl, 41, of Monkton also was ordered to pay more than $555,000 in restitution. In August, he pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to a scheme in which he negotiated deep discounts on yearbooks from a Texas-based publisher who employed him but charged higher prices to schools.

He directed schools to pay him rather than the company and pocketed the difference.

Wenzl carried out the fraud between October 1998 and January 2003, while a regional sales representative for Taylor Publishing Co.

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