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2 sentenced in death-benefit investment scam

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A husband and wife have been sentenced to five years each in prison for their role in a scam that promised investors a share of strangers' life insurance policies.

The Sacramento Bee reports 75-year-old Robert Eberle and his 66-year-old wife, Barbara, were also ordered to pay $13.2 million in restitution at their sentencing Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the Eberles worked as sales representatives for a now-defunct Redding company called Secure Investment Services. Their job was to peddle fractional shares in someone's life policy.

While the practice is legal, prosecutors say in the Redding case the investment program was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

Investors were told that they could cash in the profits of the life insurance policies when the person died. The losses ran into the millions.

Four others have been sentenced in the scheme.

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