Virginia Beach ‘criminal couponer’ bilked stores out of $31.8 million, funded lavish lifestyle with proceeds

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Shoppers Paid Over $400,000 to Lori Ann Talens for Fake Coupons

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A Virginia woman sold $31.8 million worth of counterfeit coupons to thrifty shoppers and used the money from her racket to fund high-end home renovations and vacations, according to new information released by the FBI.

Lori Ann Talens, 41, was sentenced last month to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty in April to mail fraud, wire fraud and health care fraud. Her husband, 43-year-old Pacifico Talence Jr., supported the plan and was sentenced to more than 7 years in prison.

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The FBI said the “criminal couponer” used his graphic design skills to manipulate barcodes and create coupons for almost any store and any product.

With a background in marketing, she was able to sell coupons through social media groups to coupon enthusiasts. Talence protected itself from the authorities by using encrypted communication services to deal with its customers and using cryptocurrencies for payments.

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The plan earned Talens and her husband over $400,000 over three years because the fraudulent coupons were not detected.

“If the coupons are rejected, if they’re counterfeit, the retailer doesn’t get paid for them,” the FBI special agent said. Shannon Brill said Last week.

“But that whole process takes a lot of time,” Brill said. “By the time a coupon is identified as being fraudulent or counterfeit, that coupon has already been used who knows how many times.”

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It was only after the Coupon Information Corporation alerted the FBI’s Norfolk office that officers discovered they had found counterfeit coupons worth $125,000.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for Talence’s home and found counterfeit coupons “in every jacket pocket” and “stuffed in his vehicles” worth more than $1 million.

Coupon Information Corporation executive director “Despite Hollywood’s recent portrayal of coupon fraud as a comedy or simply as ‘bending the rules,’ it is a serious matter,” said Coupon Information Corporation executive director Bud Miller said in a statement.

“Coupon counterfeiting is typically a felony-level offense whose penalties can include years in prison, total loss of property, lifetime reinstatement orders, and reduced job opportunities.”

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In addition to the fraudulent coupon ring, Talen defrauded Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of nearly $43,000 over a period of five years by failing to report her husband’s legitimate employment income when applying.


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