Federal officials say thousands of victims lost a total of about $4-million to the scheme run by Sharon Henningsen, 68, and Timothy Donavan, 64, both of Rudy.
Both were sentenced to 135 months imprisonment and three years supervised release on Monday. They were also each fined $250,000, given a special assessment of $1,900, and ordered to pay nearly $5,400 to victims.
The sentence was handed down on Monday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
"I am grateful for the coordinated work of the United States Postal Inspection Service and the members of this office to bring these individuals to justice. Our office will continue to protect the assets of hardworking Americans and vigilantly pursue swindlers like Henningsen and Donavan," said Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.
According to court documents, Henningsen and Donavan conducted a letter-stuffing scheme that resulted in over 21,000 individuals from across the United States mailing checks or money orders to them from 2005 to 2007, thus resulting in a loss of $4 million to the victims.
The scheme consisted of mailing false and misleading solicitation letters to more than one million people throughout the United States inviting them to buy materials to stuff and mail envelopes to make money while working from home.
The letters stated that a person could earn up to $2,900 to $5,000 or more weekly after buying the envelope-stuffing program for prices ranging from $59 to $149. No individuals other than the defendants profited from the scheme, federal officials said.
The two defendants conducted these schemes out of their home in Rudy and under various names including Home Business Systems, Trail Head Options, and Premier Solutions.
Henningsen and Donavan were originally indicted in January. After a four-day jury trial in Fort Smith, they were found guilty on June 14 of one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and 18 counts of mail fraud.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service.