A Suitland man was sentenced to serve 40 months to 10 years in prison yesterday for his role in a scheme in which nine people stole $117,000 by filling false claims with the D.C. Unemployment Compensation Board stating they were unemployed veterans entitled to weekly benefits for the jobless.

U.S. District Court Judge Aubrey E. Robinson Jr. imposed the sentence on Earl T. Jordan, of 3415 Glenn Dr., who is an Army veteran and an administrative supply technician for the D.C. National Guard.

Jordan, who will be eligible for parole after serving about three years of his term, was convicted earlier of 23 counts of mail fraud, one count of making a false claim and 26 counts of fraudulently cashing checks. The offenses occurred between November 1976 and October 1977, according to the indictment in the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John W. Polk said that eight others have pleaded guilty to fraudulently cashing checks in the scheme. Six have been placed on probation, one is yet to be sentenced and Jordan's brother, Willie, was sentenced to serve a 20-month-to-five-year prison term, Polk said.

The prosecutor said none of the money has been recoved.

Polk said the false claims were filed for 51 different fictitious people and appeared to be legitimate. But he said the scheme unraveled after a Maryland bank official noticed that one of thedefendants was cashing checks under more than one name. Secret Service and Postal Inspection Service investigators then started trying to determine where the checks originated.

Polk said that similar schemes have cost taxpayers $120,000 in Los Angeles and 12,000 in in Atlanta. The check fraud scheme is still under investigation in those two cities, he said.