I'm so ticked over this. I want my money back.
Did you pay her through a credit card, debit card, or a money order?
If you paid her through your credit card or a debit card, did you notify the credit card company or your bank about the situation?
If you used a postal money order, notify the post office. If it was from a bank, let the bank know.
Did you also notified PayPal? (PayPal may have have a time limit of less than 40 days though.)
If you haven't notified any of them of the scam, you may want to notify them as soon as possible.
Don't wait any longer. it is obviously a scam, especially when you haven't heard from them for a year and a half.
Also, do you have a link to the website for that particular business? It may help to notify everyone to avoid the scam artist.