LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two Arkansas women have each been sentenced to 18-months in prison for fraud in connection with the theft of money from a federal program intended to provide meals for low-income children.

A federal judge in Little Rock on Friday sentenced 38-year-old Erica Warren of Little Rock and 38-year-old Alexis Young of Bryant after each pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Defense Attorney John Wesley Hall called the case "really sad" and said he had hoped for probation for the two because both admitted their crimes and are single mothers.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Harris said in a news release that the two women conspired to taken nearly $254,000 from a U.S. Department of Agriculture program intended to pay for meals for low income children.