LITTLE ROCK - Two companies in Arkansas and Washington state, along with their operator, have been fined more than one million dollars by a judge who ruled that they scammed consumers with false promises of money for stuffing envelopes.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Timothy Fox ruled that Sharon Jeanette Henningsen of Van Buren, her now-defunct Home Business Systems, and Trail Head Options of Spanaway, Washington, violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act one-thousand-262 times. The judge ordered Henningsen and the two businesses to also pay 156-thousand-183 dollars in restitution and 20-thousand dollars in attorney fees.
The state Attorney General's Office filed the lawsuit in 2005. The suit alleges that Henningsen and the businesses said clients would be paid for stuffing and mailing envelopes at ten dollars per letter. The letters solicited buyers for a book entitled "How to Make Money Mailing Letters.'' Clients also were told to first pay application fees to do the work. T
he suit says no one ever earned the minimum promised or was paid for stuffing envelopes. The suit says clients only made money based on the sale of the book, and weren't refunded their fees as promised. Henningsen -- who has been representing herself -- could not be reached for comment.