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By Mike Johnson on 2007-05-01 17:29:00

Jim Bell, the former World Wrestling Entertainment senior vice president of licensing and merchandising who was featured in wrestling documentary Beyond the Mat, and Stanley Shenker, a former WWE licensing agent who worked with the company, were both sentenced today for a kickback scheme in which they defrauded WWE over the span of several years.

Bell, 52 years old, received an eight month prison sentence and three years of probation today. m Shenker, 61 was sentenced to two years, nine months in prison, followed by three years of probation. Their sentencing was picked up this afternoon by the Associated Press.

Shenker plead guilty in January 2006 of conspiring to defraud WWE of honest services by paying close to $1 million in kickbacks to Bell. Bell plead guilty in 2005 to the scheme.

Shenker, the sole corporate officer of licensing company Stanley Shenker and Associates, agreed to pay Bell kickbacks in exchange for him sending WWE business his way. >The fraud took place from 1998 to 2002, with Shenker paying Bell around $950,000. The two created fake paperwork, not only to trick WWE, but to allow Shenker to deduct the payments as business expenses on his taxes.

During sentencing, Shenker was ordered to pay $2.8 million in restitution to World Wrestling Entertainment. Bell was ordered to pay a $6,000 fine and more than $950,000 in restitution.

As noted above, Bell was seen in the Barry Blaustein documentary Beyond The Mat discussing WWE's merchandising while making an analogy between The Muppets and the then-World Wrestling Federation. In another scene, Bell presents new products to Vince McMahon.

Thanks to Buck Woodward for contributing to this story.

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