Police last night described Glen and Lynne Moore, from Sheffield, as “callous” as they took cash donated by the public to pay for a string of luxuries for themselves.
The pair set up the fake organisation called Enabled – The Children’s Charity in 2010.
They claimed to be collecting money for terminally ill and disabled children.
They carried out fund-raising events and collections but took cash from unsuspecting members of the public and used it to fund a lavish lifestyle, which included buying a villa in Lanzarote.
Police began compiling a case against the pair in April 2011 after information was received the charity was bogus.
Financial checks showed that more than £200,000 had been paid into bank accounts in the couple’s names over the previous six years but only £280 had been paid into the account belonging to the charity.
The pair were arrested and charged with a number of fraud offences.
Glen Moore, 45, of Earl Marshal Road, Fir Vale, Sheffield did not attend the three-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court and was convicted in his absence.
Lynne Moore, 39, of West View Lane, Totley, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.
They were both convicted of four joint offences of fraud and one of acquiring criminal property.
At Sheffield Crown Court, Glen Moore was jailed for seven-and-a-half years and his wife for four-and-a-half years.
Detective Constable Gareth Rees, who led long-running investigation, said: “This was a lengthy and complex investigation lasting three years.
“This couple callously took money from generous and unsuspecting members of the public who thought their money would be helping children.
“Instead their money was used to fund a lavish lifestyle abroad.”
He added: “The sentences handed down reflect the severity of the offences.”