Jeffrey I. Friedman a former administrator of the University of Maryland Medical School, was sentenced today to 18 months in the Baltimore County jail for embezzling $556,338.34 in school funds.

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Paul E. Alpert also imposed a five-year probationary period with Friedman's jail term and said he expected Friedman to start paying back the embezzled money as soon as he gets a new job.

The prosecutor, assistant attorney general Robert C. Ozer, said Friedman was caught in "a horrible, insidious setting . . . his superiors were corrupt individuals. They knew what was going on and benefited financially."

Attorney General Francis B Burch has said that at least 15 other people at the medical school are also under investigation in connection with the missing funds.

Friedman, 35, pleaded guilty to the embezzlement charge last September. According to the prosecutor's evidence, he stole the funds through a complicated scheme of transferring money and grants into 30 bank accounts.

Then Friedman spent the money on a luxurious lift-style, including gambling, buying an Ocean City condominium and an art collection, according to evidence.

Last October,the Maryland Casualty Company, an insurance company that bonds all state employees, paid the state the maximum bond of $400,000 to cover funds lost through Friedman's embezzlement.

State police seized Friedman's art collection, traveler's checks, bonds, house, and other property amounting to more than $150,000. That property will be sold to help repay the funds embezzled.